“The ocean, because of its vastness, can hide secrets for a very long time. So, Steven Spielberg, eat your heart out.” – Paul Snelgrove
Let’s take a moment to review just how terrifyingly awesome the deep sea really is. The ocean takes up about 70% of our planet, and yet, according to Paul Snelgrove’s TED Talk, we know more “about the surface of the Moon and about Mars than we do about [the deep sea floor], despite the fact that we have yet to extract a gram of food, a breath of oxygen or a drop of water from those bodies.”
The deep sea originated the unknown: shrouded in total darkness, inaccessible to human beings, and teaming with unidentifiable life. Survival of the weirdest reigns supreme in this cold, lightless hydrosphere. And since scientists have only sampled 1% of the sea floor, it feels like every other month they’re coming out with new shit like, “Lol here’s another mythical alien monster we’ve only just discovered. Everything you know is lie and vampire squids will eat your children. Bye!” Or that’s what I hear at least. I mean for godsake, last year they found god damned killer sponges. Liiteral sponges (you know, like Spongebob) which slowly murder and eat other living things… SPONGES.
Yes, the denizens of the deep sea often look closer to alien life than anything we’ve ever encountered or even conjured up as potentially inhabiting outer space (which begs the question, why so many videogames about outerspace and so few about the deep sea? I guess Dead Space just sounds a lot cooler than Dead Sea.) Yet as the BBC’s Blue Planet aptly depicts (in glorious HD), there is more to the bottom of the ocean than gruesome survival tactics. There’s also the delicate little creatures who get served up as meals to the horrifying monsters.
In the upcoming iOS and Android game Seashine, you must play as one of these innocently beautiful creatures, stuck in an underworld that’s literally dying to gobble you up. You play as a luminescent jellyfish—a jellyfish I will heretofore refer to only as Squishy because he looks like he should make squish sounds when he swims and because he is My Squishy. Squishy, seemingly born from a crystal, must squish his way through the dark caverns of the sea in perpetual search for more life-giving light. Unknowable creatures slither around every corner. Survive as long as you can, until the darkness completely closes in on you.
The end of Seashine‘s latest teaser trailer will likely have you screaming “NOOO SQUISHY!” while also considering the brevity of life, death’s cold grip, and the shadows who lurk—always waiting to steal your Squishy away. Or maybe it’ll just leave you wanting more of the most relaxing use of xylophones I’ve ever heard in a videogame soundtrack.
After some delays, Seashine is now hoping for an end of the year release. You can keep up with it by signing up for the newsletter through the game’s official site.