Anoxemia is an underwater adventure from Badland games, the 3.6gb digital title comes in at only £6.39 so it’s certainly at an inviting price range, but how hostile are the deep waters of Anoxemia
Controlling Dr David Bailey you’re submerged deep underwater after your submarine crashed, searching for plants and new items to help further your progression you’re not sure what damaged your sub, but it’s time to find out.
Obviously so deep below the surface there’s very little light to guide you, you have a drone to help point you in the right direction, and a small bubble of light surrounding you, but the rest is all about exploration, your also going to need a regular supply of oxygen, so locating and collecting oxygen tanks soon becomes an important part of the gameplay.
There’s harpoons to unlock which open up the ability to move large boulders, aiding progression and opening new areas, but there’s a very familiar feeling regardless of how dark the background is or which enemies litter the path ahead.
There’s quite a variety of obstacles to overcome, laser shooting submarines, mines, energy sucking drones, and toxic plant life, you’ll also encounter enclosed areas which are a chore to manoeuvre through. Moving around is done by controlling the drone, and Dr Bailey automatically follows it’s path this can lead to issues as you’re trying to watch and manoeuvre the drone while trying to keep the Dr alive after some practice it’s pretty straight forward but there’s a few instances especially in enclosed areas where things start to feel a little tedious. Getting from A to B isn’t always a problem, and many levels might only take 4-5 minutes to navigate through, but as you progress, you’ll start to find more taxing challenges meaning the latter stages of the 38 levels will keep you guessing. due to some slightly off collision detection clipping, but there’s also plenty of positive to find in Anoxemia.
Firstly the comic book styled cut-scenes mixed with some fantastic voice work providing narration from the protagonist, each do a great job of explaining Dr Bailey’s quest, compiled with the claustrophobia inducing atmosphere and you’ll soon forget about the few movement issues.
Graphically there’s a nice contrast between light and dark, and enemies are highlighted well enough, but the intentionally dark setting forces caution which all helps add to the immersion, the variety of obstacles are well defined and while it’s not always made clearly obvious how to progress, the sense of exploration is only helped from that feeling of isolation.
Sound seems to tick the right boxes, the audio isn’t too imposing , but there’s some exemplary work from the voice actor playing Dr Bailey, and this really helps to set the while atmosphere of the game.
Anoxemia never really feels fresh or unique, but it does feel well made and at little more than £6 it’s little to ask for such a well orchestrated game.