User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 97
  2. Negative: 9 out of 97

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  1. Dec 13, 2012
    2
    Tries really hard to be an underwater Metroid but suffers from poor game design. Still using a save point system nowadays is one thing, but putting one per map is another. Dying and losing 20-30 mins of progress because you took a wrong turn and got bodyblocked into unavoidable death (because of poor controls and low invincibilitiy frames) is not anyone's idea of fun, regardless of yourTries really hard to be an underwater Metroid but suffers from poor game design. Still using a save point system nowadays is one thing, but putting one per map is another. Dying and losing 20-30 mins of progress because you took a wrong turn and got bodyblocked into unavoidable death (because of poor controls and low invincibilitiy frames) is not anyone's idea of fun, regardless of your target audience or platform. The levels are mostly 1-way mazes scattered with monsters and puzzles that have little to do with the end boss... Bosses are unintuitive and require too much guesswork to solve considering the sparseness of save points. The story is boring, cliched (amnesia, really?), and forced inbetween the boring 1-way zones and frustrating bullet-hell mazes of monsters. It's only saving grace are the pretty environments but even they are zoomed out most of the time. Don't bother with this and just go replay Super Metroid because 17 years later and still no one can do better than it. Expand
  2. 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.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
  3. 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 surrealWow! 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
  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 youI 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 11, 2012
    4
    the game has good sounds and i like the voices. the light effects and objects are pretty.

    the leveldesign all together could be better.

    there might be a good story behind it, but most of all: the game is very very BORING and there is not really much to see.

    i wouldnt suggest to spend any money for it.
  6. 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.
  7. Jun 21, 2014
    9
    Exploration underwater, action adventure indie game.

    Graphics are very good for an indie game. Also music is so beautiful it makes me cry sometimes. Story is not bad but it drives you to the end. Exploration rewards you well. There is food crafting, You sing to cast spells and transform into different froms.

    This game is just beautiful, give it a try it has a demo.
  8. 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.
  9. Sep 14, 2010
    10
    Beautiful game that touched my heart, one of the best indie games that I played in my life. When you are playing through the game it unlocks you more and more content so you are never bored.
  10. 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.
  11. Mar 7, 2013
    10
    It's Super Metroid under the water. I you mix amazing super powers, amazing boss fights, a huge and beautiful world to explore, an amazing soundtrack, lots of puzzles involving music, and a well written story and you have Aquaria. You will also find secret areas, optional bosses, special powers that allow you to find secret areas, and an annoying human that follows you everywhere but he atIt's Super Metroid under the water. I you mix amazing super powers, amazing boss fights, a huge and beautiful world to explore, an amazing soundtrack, lots of puzzles involving music, and a well written story and you have Aquaria. You will also find secret areas, optional bosses, special powers that allow you to find secret areas, and an annoying human that follows you everywhere but he at least shoot at things too. Expand
  12. Apr 19, 2014
    10
    An extraordinarily atmospheric and beautiful underwater exploration & action-adventure game with intuitive controls and an immersive soundtrack.

    The game starts off slow (which explains why some impatient players quit early and discount it as "boring"), but stick with it and you won't regret it. You will encounter a large range of diverse and stunning environments, as well as an
    An extraordinarily atmospheric and beautiful underwater exploration & action-adventure game with intuitive controls and an immersive soundtrack.

    The game starts off slow (which explains why some impatient players quit early and discount it as "boring"), but stick with it and you won't regret it.
    You will encounter a large range of diverse and stunning environments, as well as an *insane* number of different species of underwater creatures for you to kill, evade, or play with.
    Not to mention treasures to collect, lost memories and powerful abilities to recover, ingredients to cook into power-ups, several nice puzzles and boss fights to beat, a story line to uncover, and an epic final boss sequence...

    One thing to note is that this game is "old-school" in spirit, in the sense that it does not hand-hold you very much. You have to decide for yourself which part of the world to explore next (and possibly retreat if you find yourself in an area that you are not equipped to handle yet), and you have to figure out by yourself how to beat bosses and puzzles. Not to mention that save-points are not always near, which forces you to conserve resources and tread carefully. This may feel strange at first to some of the younger generation of players, but it makes the experience all the more rewarding.
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  13. 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 peopleMoving 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
  14. Jul 27, 2011
    10
    A masterpiece. The storyline, the pace, the music, the voices, all comes perfect together. This is an experience that will stay with you for your whole life.
    I am glad I found it and played it
  15. Dec 9, 2012
    8
    this game is a great title for those casual gamers who enjoy and artistic setting, hard-core gamers may find it far to slow-paced to enjoy. personally, I find Aquaria to be enjoyable and challenging, yes its very slow mainly due to no assistance as to where you are meant to go next. but the beauty of that is you can have a different experience than me playing this game, everything isthis game is a great title for those casual gamers who enjoy and artistic setting, hard-core gamers may find it far to slow-paced to enjoy. personally, I find Aquaria to be enjoyable and challenging, yes its very slow mainly due to no assistance as to where you are meant to go next. but the beauty of that is you can have a different experience than me playing this game, everything is doable from the moment you get the first form change. the question isn't "where am i supposed to go now" its more "oh look a new cave, i wanna go see" and that a second character may be found at any point in the game (one who helps from the moment you find him on-wards) allows either a difficult journey through the story's boss battles or a tag team effort, and the plot twist at the end is why I had to give this game an 8 out of 10, not because its an immersion breaking, stupid pointless plot twist. but because it blatantly tells you that the story continues in a sequel that was never released. after completing the game i hunted for the sequel only to find out that the devs of the game went their separate ways, it happens, but i wish that last tidbit was removed from the game before-hand allowing me to get some sleep without thinking "there's a story that i cant finish >. Expand
  16. Feb 21, 2013
    10
    In short: this is the best game I've played for a very long time and one of the best games I ever played!
    Yes, in the first ~30-60 Minutes it doesn't happen a lot and in the beginning you may sometimes wonder what people like about this game so much. But don't quit there, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful piece of game art! For the new generation of gamers it might be confusing that you
    In short: this is the best game I've played for a very long time and one of the best games I ever played!
    Yes, in the first ~30-60 Minutes it doesn't happen a lot and in the beginning you may sometimes wonder what people like about this game so much. But don't quit there, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful piece of game art! For the new generation of gamers it might be confusing that you don't find a save point every 2 minutes and the world is not linear so you have to explore it by yourself and sometimes go back to places you''ve already been. Also there are some challenging boss fights without hundrets of hints how to find the weak spot as the spoiled casual gamers would expect. (If you find that too frustrating or you don't want to spend too much time on this part of the game just read Aaron Demner's excellent guide which is a great help but of course also spoils a lot of things.)
    If you grew up with games like metroid and zelda you will love this game because instead of following the sometimes pretty annoying 3D trend you get a lovingly crafted side scroller with beautiful arts and an awesome soundtrack. The old school game design combined with modern controls and elements is a blessing! The rewards you get during the game are satisfying and fun to use. Some of them are more useful than others but you will never be overpowered so the game becomes too easy. And there is just so much to explore, so many secrets to find, also many funny and interesting things to discover. Most modern games completely forgot about this art of game development or the concept gets repeated for the 50th time like current titles of the zelda, metroid and other franchises. That's why Aquaria is a real jewel!
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Atmospheric and gorgeous, an excellent indie calling card. [Feb 2008, p.83]
  2. Amazing mash-up of a classic NES adventure and that fish-tank screensaver you had in the ’90s.
  3. Aquaria just oozes quality. [Mar 2008, p.86]