Seashine: Review: Bringing Light to Dark Waters

     In developer Pated's free-to-play debut title Seashine, players must struggle to maintain light and life against the darkness of the deep sea.  From the moment the players' baby, bio-luminescent jellyfish is born from a crystal, they have to fight against the oppressive dark.  Flee from piranhas, avoid poisonous aquatic mushrooms, boiling sea vent bubbles, and falling debris- everything in this world is there to slow you down or kill you in the quest for life/light.  It gets very tense because every second counts.

     Seashine is a beautiful rogue-light game.  What I mean by that is the game combines elements of an exploration-survival game with traditional rogue-like replayability with light as life.  The more light you have the longer you'll live and the more you can see around you.  It serves as both a health bar and a timer gradually fading into blackness.  The only thing that extends time is touching/eating other glowing things or obtaining stars which when tapped add extra time pausing the life/light bar from shrinking for very short durations.

     The downsides of Seashine aren't too bad either.  The controls are a little sluggish and get really tiresome when you fight just to move around a simple falling rock or need to evade an angler fish or piranha.  Some of the deaths feel a little cheap too.  On one play I had a huge predator come out of the background with absolutely no indication there was any danger- making it seem like the game just decided I should die right there with no way out.  Another time there was a singular glowing fish to eat and I then swam to death because there was none in the direction I went.  The unresponsive nature of the controls definitely get to be

     The music and sound effects in this underwater abyss are perfect.  Majestic and fitting for the deadly environment you swim through, they serve only to add to the perfect atmosphere.  Touching crystals creates chimes and the bubbles lull you with a relaxing ambiance.  The stresses of the game are somehow softened with such a wonderful score, making each death a little less painful.

     Seashine holds a haunting appeal to experience such strange horrors of survival anxiety in an alluring undersea world, and I would recommend it to anyone.  Submerge yourself in this enchanting environment.

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