There are thousands of physics-based games in the App Store. Some of them require skills in spatial reasoning. Others challenge your ability to aim and shoot. There are so many of them that it is difficult to find something unique in the genre anymore.
Deep Under the Sky is a physics-based game that requires you to estimate the arc of a moving object and redirect it using one button with limited actions. It successfully fits into traditional games in the genre, while offering unique gameplay through exploring new methods…
One feature that makes this game stand out is the artistic design. The story takes place on the Dark Side of Venus where bioluminescent plants grow in monster-like patterns. They grow inside the organs of something called “Sky Whales.” You control a Venusian Jellyfish that travels throughout the caves, launching baby jellyfish into protective nests so you can repopulate your species.
Brightly glowing plants fill the landscape with a variety of moving formations all around. It gives you the impression of floating in the depths of the deepest ocean amongst alien creatures.
Players only have one method to control the jellyfish; a button. Tap the button at the bottom left side of the screen to send the jellyfish out. Tap it a second time to activate the squid-like jet propulsion. Tap it a third time to launch the grappling hook. Tap it again to launch the explosion that will send the babies to their nests.
You don’t have control over what action appears next. All you can do is tap the button at the precise moment to get the jellyfish to the right place at the right time.
The goal is to fill each nest with baby jellyfish. On each level, players shoot one baby out of the main jellyfish and aim for a nest. The button determines what the baby can do. For example, on one level, the baby can first launch, then propel to the right, and finally explode in order to expand and enter the nearby nest.
Tap the button to send the first baby out. Sometimes, they will land on a bouncing platform that will redirect their location. Other times, they will head straight down into the abyss. If the jellyfish crashes into the flora, it will dissipate. If you are close enough to a nest when you crash, the space dust may make it inside. However, it is better to try to reach a nest directly.
You can send out as many babies as you like. There is no penalty for losing any. The game keeps track of how many babies you launch and how long it takes to complete a level.
You can also collect stars for a better score. Each level contains two stars that are not exactly along the path of population. Most of the time, you’ll have to sacrifice one jellyfish in order to reach a star that is off the beaten path.
As the game progresses, so do your jellyfishes’ abilities. For example, in Chapter Two, the baby has the ability to roll along the surface without crashing into anything. Eventually, you’ll be performing all kinds of tricks to send your babies to their nesting places. There are 80 different levels to play with artistic flowing graphics and challenging obstacles.
Even though this fits into a category that has overpopulated the App Store, Deep Under the Sky stands out for its interesting and unique gameplay experience. I found myself sticking around to play more levels back-to-back than I normally do with games like these. I love the mechanics.
The action button is tiny. Plus, if you simply tap the screen, you pause the game. So, if you have fat fingers and are trying to tap the action button, you might accidentally pause the game instead. I’d like to see the size of the action button just a bit bigger.
Deep Under the Sky is on sale for $2.99 during the launch and will go up to $3.99 afterward. It is a great game and worth three dollars. The replay value is high since you can practice getting through each level faster and with the least number of jellyfish possible.
Don’t be scared away by the “physics-based” attachment. This game is interesting and fun in its own right outside of that genre. If you traditionally don’t follow physics-based games, but this one has piqued your interest, go for it. It stands out in the crowd. This game is available on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Download it in the App Store today.
What do you think of Deep Under the Sky? Let us know in the comments below.