A brand new game from Ali Maunder, the creator of Neon and Neon 2, has recently graced the Web: Abstract Sea. Using simple but stylish visuals and a nice electronica soundtrack, the game puts you in control of an armed ship at sea fending off enemy attacks. The game has a very visceral feel to it with screen-shaking explosions and a few power-ups floating atop the deep blue sea.
The only goal in Abstract Sea is to rack up a high score. Well, staying alive is also a goal, but you stay alive to get a better score, so they're one in the same. Your gun pivots 360 degrees and is controlled by the mouse while you move your ship with the [WASD] or [arrow] keys. The split controls are a bit like GridWars and offer a wide range of tactics and more precise gameplay, though it may take some time to get used to.
Enemies in the game range from rather benign missiles to heavily armored battleships. Each has its own attack and defense rating, so try and take out the bigger fish first and save the little guys for when the coast is relatively clear. Power-ups appear from time to time that refill your health, give you points or upgrade your gun.
While the visual and aural presentation in Abstract Sea is superb, the gameplay does suffer from a bit of redundancy. Time-limited gun upgrades make the game more difficult after you've stayed alive for some time, but I found myself feeling more helpless than challenged. Big battleships are not easy to take down with a tiny weapon. And apart from avoiding the few enemies and hunting down a couple of power-ups, there isn't much going on. The lack of gameplay variety doesn't detract from game, however. Abstract Sea is perfect to spend a few minutes with here and there, especially if you're interested in pegging your name at the top of the online high score board.