There’s a weird sub-genre of videogames that I call “fleshy bummer-horror”. These games thrive on strange, flesh-filled brutality: Floors and walls leak, blood flows freely, and necrotizing fasciitis is more likely to catch. Think of Carrion’s unbelievable blob, or Isaac’s binding of Matric.
swallow the sea This is the latest in a growing series of visually-gross games that are entertaining as well as disturbing. it rose through the ranks itch.io On a “pay what you want” basis, before hitting Steam for free to kick out even more people last month.
In a brief 15-minute run, you begin your life as an underwater zygote and slowly explore the surrounding waters, full of smaller life forms to eat, and more More who want to feed you. It’s the fish-eat-fish formula of the feeding frenzy, but skull-faced eels and prehensile worms—things with unearthly human teeth—capture you.
Those oddly phallic hunters aren’t the only inconvenient aspect of Swallow the Sea’s marine life. Very quickly, your underwater habitat turns from rocky passages to fleshy, rotten tunnel after fleshy, rotten tunnel. It is clear that whatever world exists above these waters is becoming increasingly ill, and in the eyes of any larger lifeform, I am just a parasite. It is easy to imagine that the sea is used for dumping waste into swallowtail waters, filled with the decaying remains of animals that had no chance of survival. it’s sad general vision In the modern era.
The star of the show is easily a giant purple human-faced worm named Oro. Not that Sega’s seaman has ever had such a troubling fish, and yet, I can’t blame the big guy for needing the food. I just wish he didn’t have to chase me from my hole to Mister X Styles while my hide was biting his big teeth. I can’t even blame him because clearly, I’m doing the same kind of fratricide inherent in every feeding frenzy game, eating smaller versions of my brethren and eventually turning my predators into evening snacks. In fact, I’m just lucky enough to have managed to snatch the biggest meal I’ve had before in life.
I won’t spoil it here at all, but rest assured that Swallow the Sea maintains that brutally obvious nihilism until the end of your brief life. Food chains have to end somewhere.
this is free on steam Now, and in a quick 15 minutes, this is a great way to make you feel like you just saw something you shouldn’t have. The developers’ first game, Perfect Vermin, evokes similar “what the hell” sentiments, and it’s also free.