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

Bound By Flame

Bound By Flame

Bound By Flame is a very ambitious attempt from an indie developer to deliver a AAA experience, but it doesn't always succeed. The story is interesting despite some clichés and the combat very rewarding, although it can get tough. The game is also quite linear with maze-like levels, but there are plenty of side quests to keep you busy. There is a lot that I can fault about Bound By Flame, but I did enjoy completing the game and would definitely love to see a sequel that addresses the problems. Gameplay: Not much exploration, but the combat is challenging and enjoyable. Graphics: Great monster designs and some impressive areas, but plenty of repetition. Sound: The music is good, but the voice acting is a bit uneven.

4 Elements

4 Elements

4 Elements is a polished and entertaining match three game that is well worth checking out if you are a fan of the casual genre. The story is aimed squarely at children, but the gameplay offers fun for all ages. It is one of those games that are perfect for playing when you have a few spare minutes to kill and don't feel like firing up something more involving. Gameplay: Addictive, but rather easy and somewhat repetitive. Graphics: Colorful but nothing really special Sound: The music remains unobtrusive for the most part.

Kraven Manor

Kraven Manor

There's no denying that Kraven Manor can be completed rather quickly, but it packs a lot of scares into its short runtime. The story could probably have benefited from it being fleshed out a little bit more, but the creepy antagonist and sinister atmosphere of the manor itself makes for a memorable experience. The game doesn't go overboard with the scares, but knows how to mess with you which makes for a startling experience, at least the first time through. Graphics: Nice visuals and excellent use of light. Sound: Great audio and creepy sound effects. Gameplay. Creepy and absorbing, but a little too short for my liking.

9-nine-:Episode 2

9-nine-:Episode 2

9-Nine-: Episode 2 features more of the vibrant art and excellent writing that was featured in the first installment. However, it's not quite a sequel as it instead focuses on a different heroine compared to episode 1. This can be a little annoying for players who want to uncover all the mysteries instead of just learning more about the different heroines. The game is also rather short and left us wanting more, but this is mostly due to the great character dialog and superb translation. Despite some questionable elements 9-Nine-: Episode 2 is a great visual novel and we have no qualms recommending the entire series to fans of the genre. Gameplay: Features a lot more humor compared to episode one and the writing is still superb. Graphics: The art is detailed and vibrant, although a lot of the character sprites and backgrounds are reused. Sound: Excellent voice acting, but most of the background tunes are the same.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice might not have the best combat or puzzles in the genre, but it is hard to beat in terms of storytelling and immersion. There are not many other games on the market that can hold a candle to it when it comes to visuals and animation, while the way it realistically portrays psychosis is also groundbreaking. The game still features plenty of combat, but it is not the primary focus, so players expecting something closer to previous Ninja Theory titles will probably be a little disappointed. However, if you can appreciate something with a strong narrative focus and willingness to tackle subjects that few others dare, then Hellblade is your game. Gameplay: The combat and puzzles are a bit weak, but the overall experience is superb. Graphics: Although the game is very bleak overall, the detail and animations are top notch. Sound: This is definitely a game that must be played with headphones thanks to the awesome binaural sounds.

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta is absolutely the definitive edition of this great game and an essential purchase for fans of the raising sim/visual novel genre. The plot might not be very epic, but it makes up for it with wonderful characters and gameplay that is a bit more involved than simply clicking through lines of dialogue. With titles such as this and the equally superb Steins;Gate JAST USA is really on a roll. Gameplay: Some great scenes, characters and a very addictive dice mini-game. Graphics: Excellent artwork from the very talented Oyari Ashito. Sound: Great tunes, sound effects and the original Japanese voice acting.

Leave a comment

3 × one =