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|Rating:||4 out of 5|
Finding an original homebrew game with a unique concept and mechanics is a lot of fun... especially for the Atari 2600! Remember when finding a new game on retail shelves was so infrequent, we'd buy almost anything? Who'd have thought that decades later folks would still be making amazing games for the VCS!
The Deep, by Winkdot, is a well crafted, fun game. From the intro animation to the ocean depths there are a lot of nice touches that show the level of attention that went into the game. Another nice facet at this time is Winkdot is still improving the game and had Posted 2 versions for download. it was created using batari and the DCP+ kernel.
Having created your own one man personal sub with (patent pending) hydro torpedoes, you set out to explore the waters and collect deep sea treasure. Only problem is, the treasures are guarded by sea drones placed there by a mysterious and extremely wealthy mad man who lacks the sub technology to collect the treasures for himself.
You have unlimited hydro torpedoes to destroy the sea drones, but only a limited amount of oxygen. Your oxygen indicator is located on the bottom right screen and will reduce as oxygen is depleted. Your oxygen sensor will omit a sounds as it ticks down. When you are very low on oxygen an alarm will sound.
The Deep involves shooting, avoidance and vertically traversing several screens to obtain a treasure that must be brought back to the surface. Your sub can move in 8 directions with great fluidity and control. This allows you to dodge enemies approaching from the sides. You can also shoot at these enemies (left & right), although firing is far more regulated than your ability to move out of danger.
After level 1 when you near the treasure a CZ-Drone will be sent to destroy you. Beware your hydro torpedoes will not stop it. After level 3 a boat will appear on the treasure retrieval screen. Avoid it when breaking to the surface.
The joystick controls the sub in eight directions. If you move the joystick left or right and press the fire button a hydro torpedo is launched. Each drone destroyed is worth 100 points.
Each treasure successfully retrieved is worth 1000 points. Successful treasure retrieval renews your oxygen supply (anytime your at the surface your oxygen is renewed). Also this will move your sub to the next treasure dive. Each treasure dive is deeper and more dangerous. You have three subs and there are five treasure dives.
Above all else, avoid hitting anything with your sub. As you must explore the depths, collect the treasure and return it to the surface without getting destroyed.
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