Lavender & Black Roses

Game Reviews -- 2023

04/12/2023 -- Oceanwork

Price: Free

In Bundle: Palestinian Aid

Oceanwork takes place on the far-off water planet of Gregorious. For your crimes against a megacorporation, you have been sentenced to prison labor there until you pay off your bounty. You do this by diving and harvesting minerals from the sea floor, keeping aware of your supply of oxygen and and eye out for sharks.

This PS1-styled game definitely creates an ominous, isolated feeling, with you alone on a small platform above a vast ocean, the only friendly presence the shopkeeper you buy upgrades from. At the start, the gameplay can seem grindy, with your underwater jaunts being very limited by your air supply. This only lasts for a few minutes, however, before progress starts to quicken, as you sink deeper into the depths in search of more valuable minerals.

Of course, doing so brings up that instinctual fear of the unknown, the vast darkness spreading before you under the sea. While I wouldn't say this was a terrifying game, it was both eerie and intriguing, enough that I played through it twice to see both available endings. Each run takes about half an hour to forty-five minutes.

It's an atmospheric little game that doesn't overstay its welcome. I recommend Oceanwork, especially if oceanic horror sounds like your thing. And the low price of free is hard to beat.