Aquaria Image
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

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  • Summary: A massive ocean world, teeming with life and filled with ancient secrets. Join Naija, a lone underwater dweller in search of her family, as she explores the depths of Aquaria. She'll travel from hidden caves, shrouded in darkness, to beautiful, sunlit oases, all lovingly handcrafted by its two creators. Naija's story, narrated fully with voice overs, will become yours, as you join her on this magnificent adventure. Naija has the gift of the Verse. By singing songs, she can weave this force to change the waters around her. With each song Naija learns comes new abilities. With powerful songs, Naija is able to change form, giving players many options as to how to play the game. And with Aquaria's intuitive mouse-only control system, it's as easy to make Naija swim gracefully through the waters as it is to have her sing, cast spells, and engage in combat with the numerous dangerous creatures that inhabit Aquaria's waters. [Bit Blot] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. An enchanting exploration of a beautiful and imaginative world. A lot of variety and surprises to discover with some 2D shooter action. Some interface issues, otherwise top notch. [Mar 2008]
  2. Amazing mash-up of a classic NES adventure and that fish-tank screensaver you had in the ’90s.
  3. Its charm and style engrossed me from the opening level and never let go, and I received an experience with lots of substance, challenge, and a little heart thrown in for good measure.
  4. Aquaria just oozes quality. [Mar 2008, p.86]
  5. Atmospheric and gorgeous, an excellent indie calling card. [Feb 2008, p.83]
  6. If you ever find yourself staring at your computer monitor longing for a well made, easily accessible and thoroughly enjoyable action game then Aquaria is for you. [Mar 2008, p.63]
  7. Aquaria's certainly prone to leaving you disorientated, some of its puzzles are quite oblique and it's in no hurry to tell you what to do, and its mechanics lack the inventiveness of a game like Zelda, but then the fact it's two friends coding together over the Internet shouldn't be overlooked when taking note of the fact that they come surprisingly close.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. Jun 11, 2011
    10
    If you think the game looks like 'pretty mermaid princess' you couldn't be farther from the truth. Exploration, loneliness, empty ruins, lost civilizations, cannibalism--this game is one hell of a package, with a beautiful soundtrack, gorgeous graphics, amazing VA, and one hell of an atmosphere in an underwater Metroidvania. Simple enough to pick up, but complex enough to keep you going. Expand
  2. Apr 15, 2011
    10
    Moving soundtrack, beautiful visuals (who said only 3D games look good?), engaging story, fun combat system and an awesome underwater world to explore. Lack of direction can sometimes be frustrating, but be patient at the beginning of the play through and you will be rewarded! After dozens of cutting-edge graphics games it's still in my top 10, a little Indie game developed by two people (that's right, 2 guys). Expand
  3. Aug 16, 2012
    10
    It kept me captivated the whole way through. it was a slow pace swim game, however, the slower pace really let me relax after a long day of work. The puzzles where not outrageous like some other games. I loved finding new abilities and items and then returning to previous areas to see what else I could do. I also liked how the story played out. Expand
  4. Aug 7, 2013
    9
    I swear I should've gone a recommendation for this ages ago. This is a very fun adventure game with a interesting mechanic for completeing different quests using the power of song. Naija, the heroine of this game is a aquatic humanoid who has lived for many years and had no memory of her people or any people who lived under the sea with her. You go on a adventure of discovery where you learn more and more about her past and the dark influence that lives deep below the surface. A very emotional game in quite a few respects and a awesome ending. This is clearly a hidden gem that doesn't get enough love. Expand
  5. Feb 10, 2012
    9
    Wow! The only reason I got this game was because it came in a Humble Bundle and the only reason I installed it and played it is because I heard the soundtrack and loved it. The screen shots and trailers don't do it justice. The gameplay is smooth and intuitive, and it works great with a game pad, if you have one. The music by itself is great, but in the game, it creates a surreal atmosphere that you feel in your chest. One of the main character's abilities is to "cast spells" by singing -- you get a wheel of notes to select -- but I found myself pausing in the middle of a screen just to play counterpoint to the soundtrack. I have no musical talent whatsoever and it came out sounding awesome. I spent almost as much time "singing along" with the note wheel in the first couple of levels as I did actually playing. The actual game is a mix of an arcade shooter, a dungeon crawler, and the amazing LucasArts classic, Loom. The narration is also spot on and brings depth to the character while guiding the player through the storyline. And for the record, Jenna Sharpe, the narrator, is just as cute as she sounds. :) Expand
  6. Feb 15, 2012
    7
    In the first two hours, Aquaria is extremely uneventful and uninteresting. You will feel as though the music is bland and repetitive, the art is adequate but not unique in any way, and the game play is tedious. There is really not much going on in the game world or around you in the beginning. All you are doing is maneuvering the main character around the screen with very simple controls. Because the game play is so dull in the initial couple hours, this may deter many gamers from continuing. After you earn a couple special powers, Aquaria becomes something almost entirely different than the initial experience. It is a mixture of Ecco the Dolphin, Metroid, and Castlevania. The singing mechanic is elaborate and well thought out even if it takes a little getting used to. The cooking system is also fresh and unique, giving the player access to various combinations for producing food items and power-ups with special temporary effects. Combat is interesting and the controls are decent. At times it is a bit confusing since there are often sections of the map that you do not have access to as you go past them at first, which gives the player a feeling of having missed something. In addition to this, you will reach areas of the game world that attempt to give you direction, but end up being ambiguous and cryptic, making your progression unclear. This problem means that several aspects of the game will force the player to seek help through FAQs and guide maps. The save system requires the player to go to certain specific areas that are not widely available in order to save your progress. This means that if you die and haven't saved in a while, everything accomplished and explored since your last save must be done again, as if it never happened before. These save areas are often very far from each other, which adds severely to the problem. Once you adapt to this save system shortcoming, you will be prepared to backtrack just to save your game. The world map gets extremely convoluted and disorganized because some sections often overlap others. This can cause confusion and disorientation as you travel around the world. The enemies design is often interesting, albeit predictable, as you can imagine many of the creatures you encounter are from the sea. The different forms and abilities you will learn during the game are creative and fun to use, making them the highlight of Aquaria. Some instances during the game seem too cryptic and if you accidentally pass these areas by without noticing, it is possible that you may go through the rest of the game without certain items and abilities because of this design flaw. Some things happen in the game without any explanation whatsoever, which leaves the player, once again, disoriented. In addition to the forms and abilities you will learn, the other interesting and fun aspect of Aquaria is in the exploration of this large game world. The bosses are challenging, well designed, and fun to fight against. The mechanics required to defeat them make sense and puts all your skills and abilities to the test. Accomplishing some of the needed tasks in this game is so unintuitive, obscure, unclear, and unobvious that there is simply no way to figure them out on your own without seeking help with a FAQ. There are some parts of Aquaria that requires you to be out of the water. This brings some of the worst platform jumping controls I have played in any game, but all is forgiven as these instances are rare. Forgiving the save system and the occasionally extremely unclear and ambiguous progression, Aquaria can be enjoyed thoroughly. It took me about 29 hours to complete. Expand
  7. Dec 2, 2011
    1
    Sorry, but this is truly the most boring game I have ever played in my lifetime. Nonimmersive gameplay that is just too slow, and takes way too long to get anywhere. And the narrator's voice is kindof annoying. Expand

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