One of the more ambitious indie projects to come out way back in 2016 was ABZU. The game is already two years old after launching first on PC and PS4, and then a year later for Xbox One. The console trifecta has been completed with ABZU now being available on the Nintendo Switch for $19.99 over on the Nintendo eShop.
The game was designed by some of the former creatives behind thatgamecompany’s highly lauded PS3 outings of Flower and Journey, both of which received a lot of high praise for their artistic direction. That was carried over into ABZU, where Giant Squid puts players into a world that combines the beauty of underwater aquatic life with the seamless exploration driven by a fascinating sci-fi story that will take you by surprise.
The gorgeous visuals that bring the marine life to the big and small screen of the Nintendo Switch is mirrored by the main character, a diver, who traverses through the world of sea life using ballet-inspired movement.
This creates a rather obvious allusion to the presentation of ABZU being somewhat of an interactive performance experience rather than a typical challenge-based game.
Now there are challenges in the game that will force players to have to utilize a bit of wit, skill and timing, especially including certain segments involving dodging mines, out-swimming a shark, and attempting to complete a rather difficult environmental logic puzzle.
What impresses me most is that Giant Squid was able to squeeze the game down to fit onto the Nintendo Switch. You can check it out in the launch trailer below.
One of the other highlights of ABZU is that it utilizes some new middleware tech for grouping AI swarms. This was utilized to create the awesome segments within the game where players swim amongst a school of fish in some truly awe-inspiring visual moments.
Of course, if you’re not into zen-like games or action-free titles, ABZU is probably not going to be for you. However, if you enjoyed philosophically-inspired games like Journey that deal with transcendentalism, then you might like ABZU.