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Tangaroa Deep

by Astrid Dalmady profile


Web Site

(based on 40 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

We know more about space than we do about the ocean.
Isn’t it time to start changing that?

Released for the 2016 Spring Thing

Game Details


Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting - 2016 XYZZY Awards

Co-Winner, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2016

Editorial Reviews

A neat submarine simulation that makes very effective use of a few simple mechanics. Graphically, the background gets darker as you descend, which is so simple it sounds trivial, but works really well. Also simple, and very effective, is an air meter. Now, this isn’t a hardcore simulation where you have to monitor your air and pressure levels or anything like that, but, just having a little meter which is slowly depleting and showing how much longer you can breathe works wonders to increase the tension. And the story does get quite tense, by slow degrees, and really puts the reader in the head-space of a person who might plunge deeper and deeper into an abyss from which there is likely no return. Very nice.
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Christopher Huang
The dialogue is well-written, and does a lot to add flavour to the story. Merely seeing the marine wildlife–reading their descriptions in our case–would be a lot less interesting without the commentary. It adds personality, “showing” rather than “telling” the enthusiasm surrounding the prospect of diving for science. The presentation also adds to the immersion (no pun intended) by gradually darkening the background as our hero goes deeper into the lightless ocean depths.
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
Astrid Dalmady’s Tangaroa Deep tells the story of a deep sea dive, and of the disturbing unknown under the ocean surface. It’s kind of a gambling piece: the deeper you go, the more danger you’re in, but the more interesting your discoveries, so it’s up to you to decide when you want to cut your losses and ascend. (Perhaps we should think of this as an alternate version of the gauntlet: you can bail at any time and get a happy ending for many parts of the story, unless you push your luck too far, in which case…)
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Tangaroa Deep does an excellent job at immersing you in the claustrophobic terror of a deep-sea dive.
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Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Good IF asks its player a question. Here, it’s “when do you stop chasing notoriety?”
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The Telegraph
15 of the best video games you may have missed in 2016
...a browser-based text game that manages to be creepy purely through the medium of words (and a cleverly-implemented use of color).
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Rock Paper Shotgun
Best Free Games of 2016
Deep dive interactive fiction. Head into the depths as a research scientist to discover the mysteries within. Stay calm under the pressure and take note of the deep sea creatures. Is the King of Herrings out there, lurking? A giant squid perhaps? How long can you stand to dive before coming back up for air? Not long enough, loser!
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Number of Reviews: 2
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Polished deep sea exploration, April 30, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2016, melancholic

Time to completion: 20-30 minutes

In Tangaroa Deep, you are a marine biologist going down to document creatures of the deep in SS Tangaroa. The deeper you go, the stranger these creatures become. After all, there is so much we don't know about the deep sea.

The PC's only link with the outside world is their connection with Jackie, their research partner, and their banter is a delightful foil to the creatures living down below, which get weirder and weirder. Like parser IF, the world model is location-based, which means story branching is dependent on where you move, meshing wonderfully with the overall story.

Several visual features illustrate atmospheric changes as the PC goes further and further down. The air meter ticks down. The background deepens from aqua to black. The description of creatures gets weirder and weirder. Where Dalmady's writing shines, I think, is in the late game, if you choose to go as deep as you can, and then some.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
An immersive submarine experience. Twine game with 3d world model., April 6, 2016

This game is generally about exploring in a submarine. You catalog new species you find, you can descend, ascend, or go left or right.

Perhaps the best thing about this game to me is the ability to make and execute plans. I had an idea from the beginning of what I wanted to do, and the game let me do it very well. You are constantly presented with choices to explore, to go deeper, to chase something, to return.

You have an air meter that goes down when you make choices. The beginning is more linear than the midge me and endgame.

I only played once, but it seems to be highly branching.

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The following polls include votes for Tangaroa Deep:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Games of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Writing of 2016 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2016 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here...

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Sometimes by the end of the year and after the Comp it's hard to keep front-and-center the games that appeared earlier in the year! Here is a place to list what has tickled your fancy so far. One vote per game only please.

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