Treasure Seas Inc.
Have you ever wondered about what happens to all the bling that gets lost in the Bermuda triangle? Wonder no more! Treasure Seas Inc. is a business that makes its profit looting the submerged caves of a remote archipelago. Created by Felix Wiesner, this game will have you driving a cruiser around, submersing a sub, and looking for treasure. Treasure buys upgrades that allow you to explore further. It's like Metroid at the waterpark!
Move around with the [arrow] keys, deploy and re-attach the sub with the [space bar]. The [A] key is the action button, with it you can pick up treasures, buy things, and make menu selections. Your sub has only so much oxygen, only so much battery power, and only so much tolerance for water pressure. When you run out of oxygen you begin to suffocate, which will cost you a life if you don't get out quick. Running out of electricity forces you to alternately press the [S] and [D] keys, like you're paddling. Too much water pressure will destroy the sub, costing you a life. Guess what happens when a shark gets you?
Analysis: This game is a lot of fun, polished and professional. Best of all, it offers a robust feeling of exploration that is a nice departure from platform games based on the same dynamic. Having to balance your pressure plating, oxygen reserves and battery supply when deciding what to buy makes the upgrading somewhat strategic. The lack of a clear end-game is somewhat disappointing; you simply snatch up all the treasure you can and try for a high score (measured in gold). The saving/limited-lives scheme is a bit awkward, you have three lives that can never be replaced once lost, and a single save point. The lives serve as a buffer against mistakes, like a deep endeavor that over-stretches your oxygen tanks, but you ultimately end up back-tracking to the save point on a regular basis. Maybe making a save point at each end-town would have been more elegant.
This is a primo release, so treat yourself to a tropical tour of tossed trinkets.