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Deep


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Rating: 3.8/5 (116 votes)
| Comments (28) | Views (44)

deep.jpgJohnBCombining the visual presence of flOw with a few casual real-time strategy and shooting elements, Deep is an intriguing hybrid game that's friendly to a variety of playing styles. You control a single cell-like critter who can move and shoot in any direction, but you're also in charge of a thriving colony of warriors who want nothing more than to eliminate the enemy. Play it like a shooter, play it like a strategy game, or play it like a little bit of both. Either way, it's an interesting dive under the sea.

Your goal in Deep is simple: make all the enemy base belong to you (see what I did there?). Bases are amoeba-like critters with a single dot of color in their center denoting which team owns them: purple for you, red for not you. Bases periodically spawn allies and are fitted with cannons at the end of each tentacle. Take out the cannons and a base is yours, but be careful, as those red guys are out to nab your bases and will do so with vigor.

Swim around with the [WASD] or [arrow] keys and fire with the mouse. Whenever you defeat an enemy, tiny "stars" will appear that refill your health. And trust me, you'll need the boost, as both ally and enemy fire looks identical, and when you're in a swarm, it's tough to know where to dodge.

While floating around and shooting stuff could be fun in its own right, Deep adds a layer of tactical strategy with one simple command: tap the [spacebar] to summon free-floating troops to follow your lead. Take the soldiers to an enemy base to make quick work of its cannons and claim it as your own. Doing so leaves your other territories vulnerable, though, so it's a bit of a trade-off. Most of the time I went out on solo strike missions to take over enemy bases, then swam around defending it from attack until a few of my own warriors spawned. What can I say, I have a bit of a hero complex.

Each of the game's 15 stages takes place deeper and deeper in the ocean, sending you down to face bigger, more difficult foes. The levels aren't all that different from one another, and even though the enemies get tougher, so do you and your allies. After each level you get to spend points upgrading your main craft, adding buffed health, stronger weapons, faster reload times, etc.

What makes Deep so interesting is its reliance upon a combination of shooting skills, strategic planning, and plain old luck to win. The levels could use some more variety, and it would be nice if you could tell enemy and allied fire apart, but otherwise, it's a great experience that doesn't require you to be a shmup expert or a real-time strategy fan to enjoy.

Play Deep

28 Comments

It's hard to play without cross-hair. I'm shooting everywhere except my target.

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I like the concept, now to try the game... o.O

Jay: Will there EVER be an escape that looks like the banner, or are you forever going to lie to us?

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Lie to you? I don't ever remember promising there would be an escape game made from the banner. :(

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The banner itself is a promise!

Deep needs quality control button (or I'm not seeing it)

50 guys and bullets flying can get a bit hard to do

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I think there is an AI algorithm that is O(# of enemies * # of friendlies) that scales very poorly.

I suspect that some logic is based on game time and other logic is based on real time, so that some things become very strange when the frame rate drops. This is a problem because the game can't maintain a constant frame rate for me.

Enemies can precisely shoot at you from more than double the size of the screen away, but the best the player can do is generally aim based on the radar and the trajectory of the perfectly-aimed enemy bullets. The bullet speed and visibility, frame rate, control responsiveness, all need tweaking.

There is no audio cue when you take damage.

There are no visual cues to help you learn your absolute speed or position. This makes navigation and juking around at the outskirts of a base annoyingly difficult.

Taking over an enemy base doesn't make any sense. When you destroy an enemy base, a new friendly one immediately appears at full strength. The same happens when enemies take over a friendly one. It would make more sense if the bases started in a degraded state and gradually came up to full strength.

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Nice concept, but needs some work.
Also, the bossfight takes way too long. I lost interest after 5 minutes of repetitive shooting and dodging bullets.

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:(
This game doesn't work very well. I didn't get so far as to have a problem with the frame rate, but I did have enormous trouble with awareness. For a game with a large map that spawns units and has enemies and allies fighting for territory control, I found the tiny mini-map inadequate in controlling the battlefield, let alone the dogfight I was in.

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I liked flOw and bubbletanks, and this seems to be hybrid of the two but not sure what I think, it's maybe more like a bubbletanks clone with an attempt to replicate the feel of flOw rather than a genuine new concept... maybe anyway. The thing that made flOw work so well was possibly the lack of conventional gameplay elements.

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Well, having the base heal after being taken over is quite common (ie. advance wars) and can be seen as part of the strategy rather than a flaw of logic.

Beat all 15 lvls, though definitely had to repeat a few of them, some as the review put it, simply because of luck especially from the

rapid skinny fish, who in a good "swim-by-firing" can take out more than half the turrets of even the heavier bases.

As for what upgrades to get, for the most part focus on offensive: frequently you become the only attacker and will need to be able to convert bases fast enough before they get converted back.
Also, the first upgrade "more guns" is deceptive. It only adds a "shotgun" like attack that happens once in a while, and in general is probably not worth the number of points it costs.

Don't worry, at the end you'll get enough points to max out on all of them.

One of the major downsides I can see in this game is from lag on slower computers. It ran pretty smoothly on mine, but I can see that causing a lot of trouble, especially if you're not fast enough and allow the units to max. As for aiming/dodging, you'll really need to learn how to "circle strafe", but it isn't really all that hard of a game.... if you upgrade wisely. There's a few levels where you need to strategize who to attack first and such, but generally, it's just attack the outer bases, avoid the bullets, repeat.

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In the second level I started to 'go in circles': every base that I captured meant another base that I lost. The same ordeal happened in later levels as well, and I felt there was too little strategic control to do anything about it.

That, and performance was pretty bad in later stages. Interesting idea though, but yeah.

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I think the proper conjugation is "make all your enemy base to be belong to you."

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I am saddened by this game. There is so much potential for it to be a great game, but it seemed to squander it by poor play controls, poor planning, and poor AI decisions/balancing.

Poor Play Control:
This is the biggest weakness I feel. If you move the mouse, your aim is supposed to change. However, the game makes it relative to your body, and changes the position of your body on the screen. This magnifies any slight change you make in your aim. Also, when you move, your position changes on the screen, also affecting your aim. The combination make true aiming a very sloppy situation. I was expecting a feel more like bubble tanks and was sorely dissapointed.

Poor Planning:
The game assumes that you will always be happy with your prior picks of upgrades. And when I say always, I mean always. There is no straightforward way to reset your points assigned to upgrades. Not by a magic button that lets you reassign them, not by replaying the level, NOT EVEN BY RESTARTING THE GAME. That's right, you can't even start the game over from scratch. I was finally forced to find the flash cookie folder in macromedia's hidden data in order to delete it and allow me to start over. That needs work.

Poor AI balancing:
I stopped playing at the level 7 mini boss. There is no health meter to tell how much health the boss has left. Instead you shoot it from afar. Forever. And finally burn through another level of it. I got through threee versions of the boss at least five times always dying on the fourth version of it. A) I was bored of holding my mouse down continually shooting at a distant moving target and not know if I ever actually hit it. B) when i got close for a look to see if i was making progress (which unfortunately there was no way of knowing) I would instantly die in a hail of bullets. I am tired of this level now and will not come back to the game in it's current state.

All of that said, there are some good points to the game. I like the music, I like the defending base portion of the game, I like that there are upgrades (although more selection and better description of cannons would be helpful), and the graphics are well done.

tl;dr Skip it and wait for version 1.2 to come out.

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"There are no visual cues to help you learn your absolute speed or position. This makes navigation and juking around at the outskirts of a base annoyingly difficult."

This is the main flaw I see with the game. Something as subtle as a "distant" background would really help orient the player. There's a couple examples, cell warfare (or was it cellular?) has a simple grid, Eridani was one I just played last night that has stars in the background/foreground. Even something like a single object in the background like Areas might fit the game's minimalistic feel a little better.

That alone may not help the controls though. Zengief and others cite bad controls and while I really didn't have a problem with it, I can see what they mean. It would seem it mostly stems from the fact that the act of moving your aim changes the position you're aiming from. Don't know how solvable that is.

But otherwise, I have nothing but praise for this game. Ya, the boss battles seemed to be fought at a distant, but I didn't have any problems. Maybe I upgraded my weapons first and not my armor/health so the boss battles were challenging but not enough for me to stop. Maybe I was close enough to reap the rewards of health when each stage of the boss was demolished.

The 2nd level was circular (when you took over a base, the comp did too) but that meant I had to change my strategy. A difficult lesson early in the game, but I appreciated it. I used the "space" support option only during that level though finding I was better off without an escort as that left my bases defenseless.

And the levels/enemies were diverse enough for me to like. Early levels stacked odds evenly. Later levels stacked them against you - with some only allowing you 1 life.

Looking forward to the next iteration!

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Level 13 with the one huge base that spawns everything is impossible. If you stay still you'll die, but even with fully maxed bullets you can't take out one of the towers with staying near it and focusing on it, so you just end up circling around the thing until you die.

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If you have trouble with 13, just shoot all the spawners to gain health and bonus, and when you go into overdrive, go in and finish off one leg of the base.
The amount of spawners makes it easy to maintain health.

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I like the idea but as others have said poorly designed game. Too bad, this game could have been pretty good.

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Fun game for a while, the issues mentioned here bothered me though, in addition to the fact that, to me, the color of enemy ships was too similar to my own. I frequently found it hard to tell which was which. Too bad the colors weren't blue and red and the dots twice the size.

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No I did NOT see what you did there! I am confused and request clarification! CLARIFICATION!!!!!!

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One major thing I need: an enemy HEALTH BAR. Oh, and for some reason I keep seeing my REAG triangle bullets turning around and hitting me on level 7... help?

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I beat it!

The levels after 13 (the one with one enemy base that has 4 "legs" of cannons) were easy compared to 13...

Some pointers for 13

Doing a good spread of damage to a leg of the base is more important than whittling it down cannon by cannon at first. If you start shooting straight down the leg (not perpendicular to it), many of your bullets will make contact, and if a lot of the cannons are weakened, they'll start bursting in rapid succession, releasing a lot of stars, bringing you into rage mode, at which point you can move to another leg, do another good spread of damage, and repeat.



Another advantage of shooting down the leg is that the bullets they fire at you will come at you in a straight line, like how the small fast enemies shoot. It's easier to dodge these and remain in the same general position. You can also cross through a line of bullets and take fewer hits than strafing parallel to a line of bullets and end up moving along the same path the bullets are taking.

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I agree with the previous posts, this game has a great idea, but is overall very dissapointing and needs a lot of work... I finally made it to level 13 and after having managed to destroy the mega base was completely turned off from the game altogether... not only was I immediately dropped to a frame rate of about 2 frames per second, I also found out that my new base was not shooting at any of the remaining enemies. Here I sat in unresponsive slow motion frustration as I watched the few remaining enemies on the screen slowly dismantle the suddendly docile mega-base over the most painfully slow ten minutues of my life while I was helpless to do anything about it. Needless to say I wont be trying this again...

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i found a way to manipulate the game into fully upgrading all weapons with out going through all the levels. but even after doing so i was still stumped when it came to level 12 i dont know how many times i restarted this level. at this point i give up. thanks for the hour or two of game play.

show spoiler
using a sol editor i was able to save my progress of upgrades and redoing the levels. when you open the "deep" file in the first file named "c0", change the value from 0 to 1, save and restart the game. you should have all the upgrades you have bought so far and be able to start the game at the beginning. when you do this a second time there will be a new deep "short cut" file make the same changes in this file from now on. this file will reset it self back to 0 every time.

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Can someone please tell me how to pass level 12... one base against 5??? Hours and hours spent trying to beat the slow motion level and nothing... what do i have to do to pass this unfair level??

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I did that level particularly quick, probably in less that 1 minute?

i just tanked in and took out all their bases's canoons coz they give me health so i dont have to worry about, and i maxed my armor stats as well so they dont really do much damage.

im stuck on (possibly) the last level, pls put in a boss HEALTH BAR!!

[Edit: Spoiler added ~ Kayleigh]

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Anonymous October 7, 2009 11:26 AM

Seriously, how on earth did you manage to get past level 7??? I've deleted the flash folder in order to restart and built differently each time to see if some other strategy would work better and I cannot seem to get past level 7.

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I'm on the last level, with the shelled boss. Tips please? (It's more impossible than Level 13!)

And lol, it was FUN to see the giant base get converted on Level 13 to blast THEIR units to smithereens.

And for 14,

you essentially have to swarm their 11-cannon base, shoot at single cannons, then get enough stars to heal for RAGE MODE to blast the 9-cannon base, repeat when they reconvert your stuffs, and once you have the 11 base and the 9 base firmly in your grasp (and the 7-cannon base being fought over,) you'll start generating enough units for your battalions to help you do the rest. Finish by converting your original base back to your control.

-Ryan

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Anonymous January 11, 2010 7:37 PM

I didn't even get points in this stupid game!! That is the reason why i didn't get passed stage four! And guess what! I don't even know how to get points!!! Why didn't you tell us how to get points?!?!

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Anonymous February 5, 2010 6:35 PM

i like the game, but i have a suggestion: give it an online multiplayer where two people can play eachother on different

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