“Vast and beautiful, but lacking that little extra something that would have made it better than nice.”£2.99
We’ve been trying for ages to come up with the right word to accurately sum up Aquaria, and after a lot of contemplation we think we’ve finally nailed it: Aquaria is nice. It draws on the template of popular console series such as Metroid and Castlevania in that it gives you a massive underwater world to explore in a rather hippy-drippy tale of self-awakening and discovery, complete with a series of powers and abilities that you unlock bit by bit. Early on, you learn that singing songs (by touching notes on-screen) works a bit like casting magic spells, and you quickly find out that you can change your form in a few ways, most immediately into one with actual firepower to give you half a chance of survival for any length of time. The problem is that there’s a decidedly casual air about the whole enterprise; you’re not hurried along so much as left to go at your own pace, meaning you can wander off and see the world without any sense of urgency, but also without anything much happening. It looks lovely, and while you’re on track it’s all very – yes – nice, but it could have been something much more compelling.