Part of me wonders if Nitrome's Submolok is saying, "Don't quite hate your hands and keyboard yet? Ya will soon!" You're going to need some serious coordination to play this freaky action game that stars an alien who appears to be Krang's long lost relative on an underwater quest to find all the parts it needs to repair a satellite to call back home. The catch is that you move by firing thrusters located each corner of your square submersible, each one of which propels it in the opposite direction, so firing the upper right thruster will actually push you in a lower lefter-ly type direction. The key is figuring out how to use them in combinations to get where you want to go, which is easier said than done since our alien hero is naturally buoyant and wants to float upwards. The upper left thruster is tied to the [E] key, lower left to the [X], upper right to [I], and lower right to [M]. (Unfortunately, those are the only key options available, and you can't rebind them.) From the main hub where you'll return to add parts to your satellite, you can hop around to other areas, and in a mild flair, you'll find and unlock upgrades for your submersible as well, so if you can't reach something, you may need to come back later once you've found an upgrade that will help. Typically when you need another upgrade to proceed, the game will pop up with an icon in the upper left.
Even if you master the controls, however, there are other things to contend with, such as underwater mines, hostile soldiers, and more. If you lose all your hearts, you'll be booted back to the entrance of the area you're playing and will need to gather anything you picked up since coming in once again. Oh, and don't adjust your monitor... that gibberish in place is text is our hero's native tongue, and isn't intended to be read! All of this is a good idea, and Submolok's creepy old-school sci-fi schlock soundtrack perfectly fits the ambiance and alien concept. While having a unique control set-up isn't a bad thing, however, Submolok's lack of customisation options means that some people are simply going to hit a brick wall, and the fiddly, floaty movement is bound to induce some rage quits. You'll definitely need to experiment with the controls and try to find a delicate touch when it comes to navigating the underwater dangers, and the end result is a game that will need a very special and patient soul to truly appreciate it. And Submolok deserves to be appreciated for the way it experiments with controls and contextual storytelling and instructions. Just try not to appreciate your keyboard too hard while you play.