Game Preview: Submerged: Hidden Depths

Sometimes, you really want to play a game full of action. A fast-paced shooter, some top racing action. A title that gets the heart pumping and the blood racing. But then again, sometimes you just want to do the exact opposite and chill out. Developed and published by Uppercut Games comes Submerged: Hidden Depths.

Submerged: Hidden Depths is a non-combat third-person ‘relaxploration’ adventure, set in the sunken ruins of a beautiful world. Take on the role of Miku and Taku – one cursed with a mysterious power that she wants to use for good, the other determined not to let it tear them apart.

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I love the descriptive of a ‘relaxploration’ because that perfectly sums up exactly what Submerged: Hidden Depths is all about. This game was originally released on Strada back in 2020 but it is now getting a release for Xbox One/Series, PlayStation 4/5 and Steam pretty soon. It is also a sequel to Submerged, which was released back in 2015. This is a preview of the game, not a full review and I have been asked to keep to the first hour of gameplay only, as not to go into spoilers… not that I would anyway.

So you play as both Miku and Taku and the basic aim of the game is to cleanse the land of a dark plant-like growth. The world that you are in has been flooded and is mostly underwater, leaving only the tops of buildings and structures jutting out over the water’s surface, basically becoming a series of archipelagos. Using your boat as means of transportation, you go from archipelago to archipelago and explore the areas. Find a seed and take it back to the source of the dark plant-like growth to cleanse it.

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That is the main focus of Submerged: Hidden Depths but there is actually a lot more to see and do along the way. Discover various animals, uncover histories, seek out relics to be put in a museum, upgrades for your boat and more. There is an ongoing story that is revealed the more you play and diaries that you find along the way will reveal more and more of what is going on.

The gameplay itself is simple. There are some light puzzles to solve and the exploring of the archipelagos involves swinging from ropes, climbing and more. All of which is pretty easy to control and get to grips with. The mechanics used here are simple and while they are hardly anything new, they work very well indeed. Controlling the characters and the boat really is a joy. Graphically, Submerged: Hidden Depths is quite the looker too. A cartoony but stunningly beautiful environment with lots to keep your eyes busy and very happy.


As the description of the game explains, this is zero-combat. Submerged: Hidden Depths is all about chilling out, relaxing and exploring the world you are in, a ‘relaxploration’ game. So if you are looking for lots of action, you are not going to find it here. However, if you fancy easing things down a bit and want to take in a slowly revealing story and a game with a chilled out pace, take a look at this game. I’m actually looking forward to covering this in more detail later with a proper review. But if you are in the mood for something more ‘chilled’, I suggest that you put Submerged: Hidden Depths on your radar.

Game Preview: Beyond The Long Night

The roguelike sub-genre is one I have a particular weakness for. It’s also a sub-genre that is massively popular in the indie game scene right now. There’s a new roguelike coming soon from developer and publisher Noisy Head Games called Beyond the Long Night and I’m taking a cheeky early look at it right now.

Explore The Dark Mountain – a subterranean world full of monsters, secrets and lovable characters. Puzzle, upgrade and battle your way through three randomly generated areas to outrun a deadly storm and escape to the Overworld beyond. Uncover a trail of mysteries in this ancient kingdom of demigods and explorers, captured within an endless time loop.


Now, as this is a preview, I’m not going too in-depth here. I want to save most of my thoughts for a full-fat review later. But, what is Beyond the Long Night? Well, from playing the demo and if I were to liken this to a classic game. I’d say it really put me in mind of arcade shooters like Robotron 2084 and Berzerk but with a roguelite and an adventure twist. This is a twin-stick shooter that throws in some puzzle solving and plenty of exploration to boot.

You find yourself trapped inside The Dark Mountain. A cavernous world full of monsters and (often) funny characters. Your objective is simple enough, to escape from the underground where you are, to the Overworld. But what is easy to say is not quite so easy to do. As mentioned, Beyond the Long Night is a roguelike and that means that you will die… a lot. Weapon upgrades will help you get further and further and keeping in mind what you have learned from previous runs is essential if you want to make any serious progress, with a big emphasis on exploration.


As is the standard for the roguelike sub-genre, everytime you die and restart, the world changes. The (ever changing) map for Beyond the Long Night is both familiar and fresh. The pixel art style is simple, atmospheric and wonderfully detailed. The world here is also full of personality and you’ll cross paths will various NPCs that will put a smile on your face. My personal favourite is the farmer and his motivational speech giving cows. Yup, there are talking cows here that offer you many encouraging words to help lift your spirits.

I’ve been playing the demo on and off for the last couple of weeks or so and have really enjoyed myself. I personally can’t wait to get my hands on the full release and give this a proper review (hopefully) later in the year. I think this could be a top title to add to your collection if you are a roguelike fan.


You can check out the Beyond the Long Night demo right here and I suggest that you do. The demo is a much streamlined version of what the full game will offer but it certainly still gives you a tantalising amuse-bouche for what is to come. The Kickstarter for Beyond the Long Night is also live, so if you feel like helping out, give this a little click. You can even add it to your Steam wishlist if you like, keep at least one eye on this one as I think it could be one of the best games of the year.

Game Preview: Ravenous Devils

“Puts you in mind of the days of the old demon barber of Fleet Street, don’t it? Last night… six of ’em. All in different parts of the city, all mutilated. He must be a real right maniac, this fella.”

– Random cabbie bloke from An American Werewolf in London played by Alan Ford

I’ve always questioned this quote from the fictional film, An American Werewolf in London. I mean, the demon barber of Fleet Street… or Sweeny Todd, was fictional himself. So is the line suggesting that the fictional Sweeny Todd existed as a real person in the fictional world of An American Werewolf in London?

But here’s a more important question. Why the ‘eff am I going on about Sweeny Todd anyway? Well, there’s a new game coming soon. A business/cooking sim that is very much influenced by the whole Sweeny Todd story. Ravenous Devils is pencilled in to be released this spring from developer Bad Vices Games and publisher Troglobytes Games and I’m doing a cheeky preview of it right here.  

Now, I do have a soft spot for business sims. I have played my fair share over the years, the likes of Theme Park/Hospital, Transport Tycoon, Sim City and so on. These games put you in very normal locales and let you just go ahead and run your business any way you like. The same applies to Ravenous Devils, only the setting isn’t quite as family-friendly.

Manage a tailor shop and corpse-cooking business in a city where crime, corruption and poverty are commonplace. Percival and Hildred have just moved here with nothing but a dream: to get extremely rich.


So you play as both Percival and his wife Hildred who have just opened a tailor and eatery shop. Only the ingredients used for both are not exactly kosher. Just like Sweeny Todd and Mrs Lovett, the dead bodies are used to make the food that you will sell to customers. Not only that but the clothes from the victims can be patched up and sold for profit too. See, Percival and Hildred aren’t all bad, they are well into their recycling.

As this is just a quick preview, I don’t want to go too far into detail as I want to hold most of my thoughts back for a full review later. But in terms of the gameplay, Ravenous Devils is easy and simple. You can control Percival and Hildred who both run their own respective parts of the business. Percival does the tailoring… and killing, while Hildred does the cooking… and mincing up of the bodies. Everything is as simple as just clicking what you need them to do. 


This is a basic rundown of how you turn a human into a pie in the game. A customer comes into the tailor shop and goes to the backroom to be measured up. As Percival, you click on the customer to kill them. You then click on the body to strip it of its clothes and pick it up and then on the chute to drop the body down to the kitchen in the basement. Killing folk leaves a lot of blood so you’ll need Percival to clean it up before another customer walks in. When done, you click on the pile of clothes from the body and use them on the sewing machine to patch them up. Now you have some ‘new’ clothes to sell to customers.

Meanwhile, Hildred is running the other arm of the business. In the kitchen, she picks up the dead body that Percival sent down and puts it through the mincer. You now have some minced meat, so pop that on the work surface and add some flour. Pop that into the oven and you’ve just cooked some pies. Take those human meat-filled pies to the eatery and customers come in to buy them, you make money.


See, it’s basic stuff and a very easy game to understand. Think of it as a much more twisted and macabre version of Overcooked. With that money you make from selling the clothes and human flesh food, you can buy upgrades for your shop. A faster sewing machine, more mannequins to display and sell those clothes. You can buy another oven so you can cook more items, upgrade them so they cook faster. The eatery itself can also be upgraded. Add tables so customers have somewhere to sit and more. 


So that is the basics of Ravenous Devils. There’s quite a bit more going on, including an ongoing story, various recipes to discover and plenty of upgrades to unlock along the way. There is a demo on Steam that is worth checking out. The demo just gives you a small slice of the bloody violence and grisly themes of the game but it is just enough to get you hooked. Set to be released this spring on PC and consoles, Ravenous Devils is a game I’m be keeping an eye on and hopefully reviewing fairly soon. Check it out of you feel like being a bit of a Sweeny Todd yourself.

Game Preview: UnDying

I don’t usually do game previews I just tend to prefer to do a review of a game when it’s ready for release, over looking at it while it’s still being worked on. Still, when I was offered an advance look at UnDying from developer Vanimals and publisher Skystone Games Inc., I took a little peek at the trailer and synopsis for the game and thought it sounded quite interesting.

Zombies, a classic movie monster who have been around for what seems like forever. The zombie really became popular thanks to George A. Romero and his Night of the Living Dead flick. The monster gained traction through the seventies and eighties, before falling out of favour in the nineties. Then Capcom released Resident Evil and the zombie was back in favour once more. Since then, zombies have been in every genre of game (and movie) with so signs of slowing down. Speaking on a personal level, I feel that zombies have become overused for a while now, especially when it comes to the survival genre. For a new title to stand out from the crowd, it really does need to offer a level of uniqueness sadly missing from zombie-survival games these days.


UnDying is, essentially, a survival game. I really don’t need to dwell too much on the game mechanics at play here, you already know them like the back of your hand. Scavenge for loot and resources, cook food and craft items. Watch your hunger and so on, Kill zombies and do your best to keep yourself alive. In this regard, UnDying really doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Still, the mechanics used here may be all too familiar but they are also very solid. As it stands, UnDying is a very capable and playable survival title. Yeah, I spotted a few rough edges, but this is a pre-release game that is still in development. So I’m not going to pick this apart when it’s still being worked on. But what I am going to take a look at is something that really does make the game stand out.

See, UnDying features a rather unique piece of storytelling, an interesting slice of narrative that really caught my attention. In every other zombie survival game that you have played, you are trying to avoid being bitten by the zombies so you don’t become one of the undead. In UnDying… that’s already happened. You play as Anling and she’s been bitten by a zombie, there is no cure and you will become a zombie in time. There’s a little addition too as Anling is joined by her 10-year-old son, Cody. Cody is an AI character that follows you around and watches everything you do. Playing as Anling, you must ready Cody for the inevitable, the day you become a zombie and he is left alone to fend for himself.


Whenever you cook, craft, etc, Cody watches and learns. At the start, Cody is very naive, scared and childlike… because he is a child. Yet, the more you do anything, the more Cody learns, he starts to come out of his shell more and more, to the point where he becomes a reliable and much-needed partner. Cody will learn to gather resources with you and become a great help as you fight to survive another day. He’ll learn to cook, craft and of course, fight. Playing as Anling, pretty much any and everything you do will have an effect on Cody, good and bad. While Cody does learn to become more independent, you have to remember that he is just a 10-year-old boy. You can’t push him too far or he will break down. As his mother, you have to… well, you have to mother him. Offer reassurance, give him a hug, be his mom and spend what little quality time you have left with him.  


There’s a levelling system where Cody can unlock new skills to help him fight the zombies for when Anling’s infection finally gets the better of her. Speaking of which, that zombie infection can and will alter just how Anling plays too. Symptoms of the zombie infection will begin to show and you’ll need to deal with them. A selection of debuffs for Anling come into play and these debuffs act as the infection taking over. But those same debuffs can work in your favour as they can be used as ‘zombie skills’ that you can and will help (or hinder) you in your day. You’ll need to keep a close eye on just how affected by the infection Anling is and ensure she lives through the day to keep teaching Cody how to survive. 

UnDying is currently available on Steam as an early access game, 10% off right now too (just under £14). Again, this is a pre-release game and I have found it a little bit rough here and there. But that is what pre-released games are like. You can offer feedback for the game too via Steam, to help iron out any creases. As someone who has spent a lot of time playing survival games… and getting a little tired of them, if I am being honest. I have to admit that UnDying really intrigues me. The basic gameplay mechanics of a typical survival game are here and they are very solid too, but the whole teaching Cody thing and Anling slowly becoming a zombie really adds a new and refreshing layer to the genre. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this one as it develops and can’t wait to play the full and proper release.


When UnDying is released, it’ll be available on PC and consoles sometime in the first half of 2022. I think it’s worth putting this one on your ‘to play’ list.