Atlantis: Pearls of the Deep
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Atlantis: Pearls of the Deep doesn’t have much of a story, but it does have plenty of levels to complete for fans of match-3 games. The fact that the spheres drop from the top of the screen is a refreshing change of pace for the genre and the physics-based elements also add an element of unpredictability. Overall, though, it is a very chill game that is perfect for players who just want to sit back and relax.

Gameplay: Very laid back and quite addictive.

Graphics: Polished, but rather basic.

Sound: A little limited, but quite soothing

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Atlantis: Pearls of the Deep

Developer: Alder Games | Publisher: Legacy Games | Release Date: 2012 | Genre: Casual / Puzzle / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

According to Atlantis: Pearls of the Deep, Atlantis was actually a tranquil realm until it was pulled down into the ocean after a terrible disaster struck. However, Atlantis was shielded from destruction by an ancient artifact that the city’s queen rebuilt herself. This game opens with the artifact being destroyed by a secret enemy, which places the city in peril once more. This causes the queen to turn to the mermaids for help by gathering ancient pearls from a nearby ruin. These pearls contain mystic power that may save Atlantis, but only if they can be found in time.

As interesting as this story sounds, it is pretty much forgotten as soon as the game starts. The gameplay is very much the focus of Atlantis: Pearls of the Deep, which is not a bad thing, but could leave players who appreciate a good story with their games somewhat irked. Thankfully, the gameplay is good enough that after a while we barely noticed that the story wasn’t really going anywhere or revealing anything new. Instead, we were focused on the addictive task of clearing away pearls via physics-based match-3 gameplay.

Match-3 games are nothing new and there are already plenty of other titles in the genre, but Atlantis does offer a refreshing take on the formula by having the spheres drop from the top of the screen. The goal is still to match three or more spheres of the same color to make them pop, but the physics, and the fact that the pearls do not stick together, makes things a little more tricky. The levels also start off very simple, but quickly become more elaborate, which makes it harder and harder to accurately land your pearls where you intend to drop them.

The heart of Atlantis: PotD is 105 levels that are spread across seven different chapters. Each chapter features a different background as well as levels that introduces more obstacles and contraptions. Players can complete levels by clearing away all the specially marked pearls, but can earn stars by fulfilling additional criteria, such as clearing away all the pearls and completing the level under a certain time limit.

Up to three stars can be earned per level, and these can be spent unlocking the seven power-ups in the game. The power-ups ranges from a bomb that clears a circle of pearls around it, to lightning that can clear a randomly selection of pearls and rainbow that can clear all pearls of a particular color. These power ups appear randomly while playing after they have been unlocked and can really make a big difference. We like the fact that the game shows you an animation of the power-up in action, so you know exactly what you are spending your hard earned stars on.

In addition to the inverse Puzzle Bobble style main levels, Atlantis also throws a couple of bonus levels at players every now and then. These include Peggle style Pachinko levels where the goal is to snag all the stars as well as very simple hidden object style scenes where players must find and click on specific items hidden in the background. These levels provide a welcome break from the main game, but are not quite as addictive. The main game can be completed in no time, but afterwards there is still fun to be had. Our favorite part is the fifteen challenge levels that open up after completing the game, as these really test your skill and luck. Most of them require a bit more thought to complete compared to the main levels and some of them had us scratching our heads on occasion. Then there is the “Zen” mode, which simply tasks you with clearing all the pearls on the screen at your own pace. As the name suggests, this mode is quite peaceful, but the achievement for completing this mode 1,000 times is sure to give completionists nightmares.

The gameplay for Atlantis: PotD is simple, but addictive and while there are no difficulty options, the levels do become more challenging towards the end. Unlike most match-3 games, it’s impossible to really lose a level, although you can mess things up to the extend that it is better to restart. This is usually the best course of action when you manage to clog up a gear with your pearls, which makes it impossible to get to certain spots. The game also doesn’t penalize you for ditching unwanted pearls into the abyss, but some levels make this impossible, which forces you to deal with everything you are given. The physics can be a little wonky at times and it is easy to abuse the fact that you can launch multiple pearls in quick succession to basically brute force your way through certain levels. The fact that pearls don’t have to be stationary when three or more of them touch also makes things a little easier as the pearls tend to bounce around when launched from a great height. Overall, the game was addictive enough to hook us right to the end and to keep playing the Zen and challenge modes even after finishing all the other levels.

Visually, Atlantis: PotD is a fairly simple looking game, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The game should run on just about anything and keeping the backgrounds simple makes it easier to concentrate on the puzzles without distractions. The game can be played in fullscreen or window modes and you can also disable the “high resolution and detail” as well as “custom cursor” options if you really have an old PC and still want to play. One thing fans of Match-3 games will really appreciate is the option to toggle “colorblind” mode, which is something that a lot of these types of games tend to overlook. The audio is also very basic, with only a limited amount of tunes, but thankfully none of them are annoying. The combination of soothing music and the hypnotic clink of the pearls as they bounce around makes Atlantis: PotD a very relaxing game to play. The game is mouse-controlled and everything works as it should, while the interface is straightforward and easy to navigate. Finally, it’s good to see that the game allows for multiple profiles, so more than one person can play the game without interfering with each others progress.

Overall, Atlantis: Pearls of the Deep is a relaxing and entertaining game that is perfect for chilling with after a long, stressful day. It is also a fun game to play if you want something soothing to pass some time without having to think too much. Some of the more challenging levels can become frustrating due to the amount of obstacles and the erratic way in which the pearls can bounce sometimes, but there is also the Zen mode to unwind with. If you are not a fan of puzzle games, then this is probably not going to be the one that will change your mind, but fans of the genre or anyone who can appreciate a good casual game will definitely get their money’s worth with this one.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP and above
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB video card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 200 MB available space

Related posts

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily is a hidden object game with some interesting clue hunting scenes and a story that, for once, isn’t steeped in the paranormal. It is however also a very short game and can be completed with ease by anyone familiar with the genre. Provided you don’t mind the lack of challenge there is still fun to be had with the game, but unfortunately there is nothing really remarkable about it. Gameplay: Hunting for clues and not just hidden objects is a nice feature. Graphics: The locations are detailed, but a little limited. Sound: Average music and the voice acting could also have been better in spots.

Divine Slice of Life

Divine Slice of Life

For a short, but interesting visual novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously and features branching paths it is worth checking out Divine Slice of Life. The all ages version isn’t too bad, but the game is best played in its uncensored form. The story isn’t particularly deep or original, but overall the game is enjoyable enough for us to recommend to fans of the genre. Gameplay: Rather short, but features an interesting story and multiple endings. Graphics: Better than what we are used to seeing in Western visual novels. Sound: Decent soundtrack and full English voice acting.

DESYNC

DESYNC

Assault your eyes, ears and self-confidence with this ultra-challenging first person shooter by The Foregone Syndicate. Desync is an all-out action fest that doesn’t believe in hand holding or pulling punches. This can make it an extremely frustrating game, but also very satisfying when you master the skills required to stand a chance. The visuals are stylish, but blinding while the music is outstanding. If you prefer playing your shooters on the easiest setting or easily frustrated, then this is probably not the game for you, but if you want to really put your skills to the test then this is the game to get. Gameplay: Fast, frantic and very unforgiving. Graphics: The Tron-style visuals are stylish, but a little headache inducing after a while. Sound: Sound effects lack a little punch, but the music is excellent.

Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age: Origins

While many claims have been made that this is the spiritual successor to Baldurs Gate, I think Dragon Age has enough to it to stand on its own. Its, got some flaws but overall it is a superb game that should be played by all RPG fans. Gameplay: Bioware always comes through with compelling role playing games and this one is no exception. Graphics: Clearly held back somewhat by the consoles, but still good. Sound: Great voice acting and stirring music.

Dub Dash

Dub Dash

Take control of a spherical object without brakes as it rolls straight into danger with this fast-paced and colorful rhythm action game. Your job is to dodge whatever is coming at you, something which is easier said than done. We could have done without some of the modes, especially the Flappy Bird style sections, but overall this is a great game for those who relish a proper challenge. It is not perfect, but making it through all the tracks in one piece will keep you busy for a while. Gameplay: Simple controls and straightforward objectives, but the challenge is quite steep. Graphics: Good, but there is rarely time to gawk at your surroundings. Sound: The soundtrack is excellent, but until you are good you will be hearing it in bits and pieces.

Plantera

Plantera

Plantera is a very straightforward game with simple, but addictive mechanics. You simply grow your garden, harvest crops and sell them to repeat the cycle. It is a casual clicker title with plenty of things to click, but you can also kick back and leave it to its own devices. If you are not a fan of clicker titles it can become repetitive, but considering its price it is hard to fault. Gameplay: Very straightforward to play and features a bit more variety than typical clicker games. Graphics: Bright, colorful and quite charming. Sound: Nice, but could have benefited from a few more tunes.

Leave a comment

two × one =