Good games are hard to come by, especially if your budget is low. And games which are both good and free are even rarer. Luckily, Deep the Game checks both boxes.It’s completely free on Steam and it’s solid, fun little experience. If you have been looking for something to kill some time with, then we highly suggest this little game.
What is Deep the Game about?
There isn’t much story to it, that’s for sure. You are a cave explorer who suddenly falls into a pit and has to climb out. But the way to the outside world is filled with spikes, bats and slimes, all of which are out to get you. After a lot of levels you might just get to see sunshine again.
In all honesty, this is a regular platformer. You can choose if you want enemies or not, but if you decide to play a more difficult mode, then you will get more gold. Twice as much, in fact, than you would if you decided that you don’t want anything coming after you. Which would be a fair choice, as enemies can be hard to deal with.
What is good about it?
First of, Deep the Game is challenging. Many people complain in the reviews that the controls are wonky, when that simply isn’t true. This was first intended to be more like a rage game. An infuriating experience, that will bring out all the anger within you. Something like Cat Mario, if you will. Except in Deep the Game, there are no hidden obstacles that could upset you. Instead, it puts you up against unfair enemies that can go through walls and are pretty hard to kill. Also, you move and fall super fast, so it’s really hard to fix your mistakes mid-jump.
But in the meantime you can also collect coins. You can spend these on chests which will give you hats, colors or skins. Pretty basic stuff. It’s completely cosmetic and there is no option to spend real money on them, which I appreciated. Although, everything is pretty plain so it doesn’t feel worth it to collect so many coins either.
Secondly, I really liked the graphics. They are simple and pixelated, but show just enough detail to make the game pretty. There is shading and the color palette is outstanding. It really shows off the “cave vibe”. If you are into retro style games, then this will be right up your alley.
The soundtrack is kind of weird, and also exactly what you would expect from such a game. One song looped throughout the entire game, but I found myself hearing it differently at different times. It’s just a little off; if you are just starting out, it’s very calming and soothing. Once you start dying, it becomes insanely frustrating, and it feels like the whole purpose of it is to make you upset. I appreciated that touch. Deep the Game‘s use of music was clever.
Finally, some levels in particular were great. My personal favorite is one where you are supposed to fall and avoid spiky platforms: a pretty simple idea, but this game does it right. The end result was very challenging, but not as much as the other levels that came before it, so it turned into something of a resting spot, a place where I could finally ease off a little bit.
What is bad about it?
Like many have pointed out in reviews, the controls sometimes don’t work. I get it, it’s a rage game. It should be a little wonky, and the player shouldn’t be able to make precise movements easily. But come on. There are times when the non-responsiveness of the controls gets to be a bit much – especially when jumps fail to happen, which usually results in deaths. It gets really frustrating after a while. So, if you can’t take a couple of unfair moves from the game, don’t try it.
Also, enemies in Deep the Game are almost impossible to kill. This is especially true for bats, which work in an interesting way. If you get close to them, they will fly to you. But the problem is that they take the shortest route, which means that they will either be below or above your eye level. And since you can’t aim, you will not be able to kill them. Most encounters will end with you running for your life. You can’t exactly fight, so your best bet will be to try to speedrun the entirety of Deep the Game.
If you want a simple game to kill some time with – and don’t mind struggling at the same time – then this is the perfect candidate. Deep the Game is certainly not perfect (yet), so the amount of fun you will have is relative to how patient you are with its mechanics. But if you like rage games, then dive in head first, because you will absolutely love it. As did I.