Most INSIDE-style adventures send players on a journey across strange and disturbing environments, but rarely venture do they too far from the surface. Not so with Indonesian developer Khayalan Arts' upcoming SAMUDRA, which is setting its sights much deeper than that.
As is customary with games of this sort, SAMUDRA reveals no story details about either its world or its protagonist. Players control a boy who finds himself slowly sinking through the increasingly murky depths of an "oceanic world buried in pollution." After settling on the bottom, he must embark on a perilous quest filled with puzzles, obstacles both natural and manmade, and even enemies that would mean to do him harm for reasons unknown.
The game's hand-illustrated 2D aesthetic is a bit more cartoony than many of its contemporaries, but don't let its more whimsical art style fool you, as this keyboard- or gamepad- controlled side-scroller poses a real danger at times. You'll need to run, jump, climb, and sometimes sneak your way past patrolling opponents in between solving puzzles at your leisure. You'll soon come to discover that this is no ordinary underwater setting, so along with massive fish and other "wonders of the deep" you encounter in your travels, expect to deal with the likes of mechanical probes, factory conveyor belts, and of course lots of sunken junk courtesy of those topside.
The complete version of SAMUDRA isn't due to launch until sometime later this year for Windows PC, but you can dip your toe in the water right away thanks to the downloadable demo available now on Steam and itch.io.