Submerged Hidden Depths Review – Chilled Post-Apocalyptic Adventure In The Test

In the peaceful and relaxing 3D adventure game Submerged Hidden Depths, two siblings try to save their post-apocalyptic world from a dark threat

Submerged Hidden Depths Review
Chilled Postapocalyptic Adventure in the Test
Submerged Hidden Depths Review
Chilled Post-apocalyptic Adventure
In The Test

In Submerged: Hidden Depths we play the girl Miku and her little brother, who together try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Their environment is completely flooded, with only remnants of the old civilization still sticking out of the water. They explore the mystery of the dark mass that has caused the surrounding plants to overgrow everything.

The ZapZockt.de Submerged Hidden Depths Review with PC Gameplay (German – English) – The new post-apocalyptic 3D adventure game from Uppercut Games combines relaxation and exploration to relaxploration. Here’s my full analysis of the videogame for PlayStation, XBox, and Steam, with a release date in March 2022 – Post-apocalyptic and relaxation rarely go together, but here gamers on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and also on PC get this Stadia Gaming Exclusive now too.

German Version:

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This post is available here as text, but also as YouTube Video (German Voice-Over, English Subtitles). So you can choose how you like to enjoy it most.

Submerged Hidden Depths Review Video

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Submerged Hidden Depths Review - chilliges Postapokalypse Adventure im Test [Deutsch,many subtitles]

Submerged: Hidden Depths Review – Intro

Hello, this is the Zap. In this Submerged Hidden Depths review, you’ll get a sneak peek at the new 3D adventure game, where we explore a colorful, post-apocalyptic open world, and do this completely peacefully.

I’ll tell you how it is played, about everything that is in it, and at the end, there will be a rating from me. But most of all, I want to give you all the info, so you can decide for yourself if you might enjoy the game.

The game is developed and self-published by Uppercut Games, so it’s a true indie game. So far, there are already three other games from this studio, with the predecessor Submerged, City of Brass, and Epoch.

I received a free trial key, my thanks for that. However, this should not affect my rating, as I always test all games with the thought in the back of my mind, how would I feel if I had paid full price.

Background – Submerged 1 & 2

Submerged Hidden Depths Review
Background - Submerged 1 & 2
Submerged Hidden Depths Review
Background – Submerged 1 & 2

Submerged: Hidden Depths is the sequel to Submerged, which was released back in 2015. So I would consider Hidden Depths more as Submerged 2. In the first one you mainly played Miku, the older sister, and her brother was badly injured at the time.

I’ll try to outline the story, without spoilers if possible. Both games are about exploring a city that is actually completely flooded with water.

To save her brother, the main heroine has made some decisions that she regrets. These changed the world, but they also changed her. And in Hidden Depths, I wish it were just called Submerged 2, the siblings are now trying to repair the effects of those actions.

The game was released last year exclusively on Google Stadia, though remained quite unknown there because the platform is just rather asleep. Now it will be released on March 10th, 2022 on XBox, PlayStation, and for PC on Steam. A release date for the Switch is currently unknown to me.


Spieltyp – Relaxploration

Submerged Hidden Depths Test
Game Type - Relaxploration
Submerged Hidden Depths Test
Game Type – Relaxploration

So, in Submerged: Hidden Depths we play the two siblings, the young woman Miku and her younger brother. We travel the world in our little motorboat, spotting interesting places or objects with binoculars, which we then search for and explore.

We can dock at individual buildings or islands to explore on foot. The siblings take turns exploring these abandoned places. The places are often quite labyrinthine in design and most of the time the goal is to explore an area, island, or building complex as completely as possible and cleanse it of some sort of plague.

To do this, you have to find a seed, then take it to a mostly remote location and plant it there to “cleanse” the place. Movement means often climbing here, from ladders over wall ledges, parkour-style over narrow beams or posts, and using bascule bridges and elevators, which often have to be flipped down or activated via switches first.

There are no real dangers in the game at all. We can’t be attacked, and we can’t fall off. The climbing elements look dangerous, but they are not. And the more complex jumping combinations are performed by the characters on their own.

The biggest “danger” then is getting lost, taking a fork that you can’t go back and thus having to go through all or part of it again, or missing out on one of the many, many collectible items.

Here we can find books that deepen the main story with a kind of cave painting. If we collect sets of them, we will get what can be seen on the pictures also displayed as text. So the bottom line is that we should find all the books if possible, in order to even properly understand what the story is really all about.

Besides that, there are plenty of other collectible items to find, and some are really well hidden. There are upgrades for the boat, new clothes, hairstyles, corsages for Miku, or a whole bunch of old artifacts that we can collect and display on our main island much like in a museum.

The developers call their game concept “Relaxploration”. So it’s supposed to offer a mix of relaxation and exploration, and this sums it up quite well. The world invites you to discover the many small stories, also to unravel the big story, and offers beautiful views and places.

Tech, Graphics, Sound

Submerged Hidden Depths Game
Tech, Graphics, Sound
Submerged Hidden Depths Game
Tech, Graphics, Sound

Submerged is based on Unreal Engine 4 and shows it off with beautiful graphics throughout, featuring atmospheric lighting effects, beautiful water, and handsome animations. Submerged runs stable throughout, and it never crashed on me during the entire review period.

The textures are upper mid-range, the effects decent, but none of it leaves you with a real “wow” moment. There’s solid craftsmanship here throughout, then, but nothing that really leaves you sitting in front of the screen in amazement.

The soundtrack for Submerged felt a bit unfinished to me. In places, you have very atmospheric music, and even without the background songs, the game offers all sorts of sound effects that are worth listening to.

But it was very noticeable that in the CutScenes, which are completely generated in the game engine, at times no sound could be heard at all. This seemed very strange. I suspect that this is either a bug or unfinished work that will hopefully be improved for release.

Submerged 2 is being released in a total of eighteen languages, though this refers to on-screen texts, menus, short texts about the books found, etc. The English and German texts were at least okay, and no weird babble from the automatic translator.

Speech output in the game is almost non-existent, and when it is, the two siblings talk in a mix of a fantasy language and something that sounds very remotely like English.

Submerged 2 Gameplay Screenshots – InGame

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Submerged Hidden Depths Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Submerged Hidden Depths Review - chilliges Postapokalypse Adventure im Test 04 Opinion and Conclusion - Meinung und Fazit
Submerged Hidden Depths Test
Opinion and Conclusion – Meinung und Fazit

As a preface, I have to note here right away that I never played the previous game. Honestly, I never heard of it at the time, and only now with the second part did I even take note of it. Therefore, I can say little about how the game has progressed, from part 1 to this version.

I guess the gameplay has remained relatively similar, but possibly even too similar for players of the first part? I am not sure about that. If you know the first part, feel free to write me about it in the comments of the video.

Other than that, a big warning, if you’re looking for action and fast-paced, gripping entertainment, you’re in the wrong place. Submerged offers calm, family-friendly entertainment, with all-around cozy and decelerated gameplay moments.

I actually really liked the world of Submerged, the water was fancy, the individual locations were nicely designed as well. The climbing and switch puzzles made of vines, ladders, switches, bridges, etc. were interesting, sometimes even challenging. Many puzzles are quite different from island to island, though they did have repetitive elements in them over time.

The level design wasn’t boring yet because of this, but I did wish for more surprises and more unique features here and there. So I kind of see this area with a laughing and a crying eye. So it’s more like mixed, but still in the upper range.

The story behind the game develops quite slowly. There is a great mystery, but it takes quite a few hours before this starts to unfold and for my taste, this was a little too lacking in involvement. The tension is rather gentle. Okay, the developers want to put relaxation and release in the foreground, but at least in the story area, this could have used a little more energy.

Then there are the many collectible items, on the one hand, the game would probably be pretty empty without them, and they also invite you to examine the locations even more closely. As a reward, you get small story snippets or sometimes new clothes, hair, or boats.

However, some collectible items are so crazy hidden that you end up having to stay in one place twice to three times as long and run through everything multiple times. Finding the collection items is definitely a step up from the searching and scrambling tasks by a factor of two to three, compared to just cleaning the place.

This becomes even worse by a feature that if you have planted the seed in a place and thus cleaned the place, you are always immediately returned to the main island. If you are still missing collection items, you would have to navigate to the place again with the boat and run through it from the beginning. This is a pretty annoying solution, here it would have been nice to have a confirmation whether you really want to leave the island.

Then the thing with the relax in “Relaxploration” is partly a bit too strong for my taste. In any case, it’s completely relaxing to explore the world, to know nothing can happen to you and there are no major dangers lurking. On the other hand, this also makes the game a bit stale and lackadaisical.

The relaxedness in the design of Submerged Hidden Depths is a double-edged sword, occasionally one wants a little more action or a little more surprises and dramatic twists. And should you fire up the game when you’re already a bit exhausted or even tired, it can easily become so relaxing at times that it makes you even more tired and want to go to bed. Submerged 2 is more like a yoga game here, it can relax and bring inner peace, but sometimes it can be a little exhausting.

Enough grumbling, because all in all Submerged 2 offers a nice, unique concept. It clearly stands out from the usual action mush. And it’s quite pleasant to play such a peaceful and cozy game. But the balancing act between relaxed and boring is difficult and certainly not suitable for all kinds of players. And if you have to search some places 2-3 times to find everything, it becomes sometimes rather frustrating than funny.

I definitely had fun in Submerged: Hidden Depths. I enjoyed it and I think I will finish playing it as well. However, I can only play the game for 1-2 hours at a time and then I personally feel like picking up something else, something with more story and action.

In total, Submerged: Hidden Depths offers about 10-15 hours of relaxation and exploration in a chic world with unusual views and somewhat different gameplay elements that you don’t often get to see. I don’t know the price yet, at the time of the review. But I assume about $/€20 since the predecessor was also offered for this amount. And if this price should apply, the price-per-game ratio also fits reasonably.

Submerged Hidden Depths – Rating

Submerged Hidden Depths Review - chilliges Postapokalypse Adventure im Test 05 Rating - Wertung
Submerged Hidden Depths Review
Rating – Wertung

For the expected price of about 20 euros or dollars, Submerged: Hidden Depths offers a special experience, relaxation, and cozy gameplay. It is technically well implemented, looks pretty, and offers exploration puzzles that stimulate the brain. Unfortunately, in some areas, the balance between relaxing and lame is very much on the fence.

I would like to give this mix a basic rating of 75%. For minor problems with the dubbing of the cutscenes and the annoyance factor with the unwanted backporting, I subtract 2%. However, both can probably still be fixed easily.

For the courage of the developers to go with their “Relaxploration” a completely unique approach, there is a 5% bonus from me again on top. This brings me to a final rating of 78%.

And clearly, if you can’t stand to be without action, drama, and danger, then this game is not for you. But if you are looking forward to a calm and relaxed exploration, then you will get a beautiful world here.

Submerged Hidden Depths Review - chilliges Postapokalypse Adventure im Test 05a Rating with numbers 78 percent - Wertung mit Zahlen 78 Prozent
Submerged Hidden Depths Review – chilliges Postapokalypse Adventure im Test 05a Rating with numbers 78 percent – Wertung mit Zahlen 78 Prozent

Submerged: Hidden Depths

Zap from ZapZockt.de

In the peaceful and relaxing 3D adventure game Submerged Hidden Depths, two siblings try to save their post-apocalyptic world from a dark threat.
In Submerged: Hidden Depths, we play the girl Miku and her little brother, who together try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Their environment is completely flooded, with only remnants of the old civilization still sticking out of the water. They explore the mystery of the dark mass that has caused the surrounding plants to overgrow everything.
World-Design
Graphics
Sound
Puzzles
Story-Telling and Gameplay
State of the game
Scope
Gaming fun vs. Price

Wertung

For the expected price of about 20 euros or dollars, Submerged: Hidden Depths offers a special experience, relaxation, and cozy gameplay. It is technically well implemented, looks pretty, and offers exploration puzzles that stimulate the brain. Unfortunately, in some areas, the balance between relaxing and lame is very much on the fence.

I would like to give this mix a basic rating of 75%. For minor problems with the dubbing of the cutscenes and the annoyance factor with the unwanted backporting, I subtract 2%. However, both can probably still be fixed easily.

For the courage of the developers to go with their “Relaxploration” a completely unique approach, there is a 5% bonus from me again on top. This brings me to a final rating of 78%.

And clearly, if you can’t stand to be without action, drama, and danger, then this game is not for you. But if you are looking forward to a calm and relaxed exploration, then you will get a beautiful world here.

3.9

Outro

Do you like climbing and exploring in a beautiful and quiet world? Or are games without combat and action not suitable for you? Feel free to write me your opinion in the comments of the Video or in the Community Discord at https://zapzockt.de/discord

More gaming news, game reviews and guides you can always find on the YouTube channel or at https://zapzockt.de – clicking thumbs up on the Video, subscribing and sharing with friends certainly can’t hurt and then I wish you a great day, ciao ciao, your Zap

Submerged: Hidden Depths Steampage

Submerged: Hidden Depths in Playstation Store

Submerged: Hidden Depths in XBox Store

Submerged: Hidden Depths at Epic Games Store

Submerged Website

Dev Twitter


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