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Even the Ocean

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Even the Ocean
Studio Analgesic Productions
Publisher Analgesic Productions
Lead developers Sean Han-Tani-Chen-Hogan, Joni Kittaka
Initial publication 16. November 2016
Platform Windows, macOS
Game Engine HaxeFlixel
Genre Jump ‘n’ Run
Game Mode Singleplayer
Control Keyboard, Mouse
Medium Download
Language English, German

Even the Ocean is a platform game by Analgesic Productions and was released after three and a half years in development[1] on November 16, 2016 on Steam, itch.io, GOG and the Humble Store for Windows PC and macOS.

Game mechanics

The game contains action and jump-‘n’-run elements and is heavily focused on narrative storytelling. The player takes on the role of Aliph, a power plant worker from the capital Whiteforge.

Even the Ocean is played by the player moving through locations such as beaches, cities and power plants in side view. In doing so, the player must watch their energy bar and keep it balanced with what is called light or dark energy. Light energy – also called vertical energy – causes the player to jump higher, while dark – or horizontal – energy causes the player to move faster.

The gameplay mechanics change throughout the game; from cutscenes where Aliph talks to other characters in the game, to explorations through different locations, to jump-‘n’-run interludes in the power plants. The game offers a wide range of gameplay options that allow players to customize their experience.

History

The story of Even the Ocean is about Aliph, who begins her first day of work in the area called Fay Rouge. She is accompanied by the more experienced technician, Cassidy, who dies in a tragic accident in Fay Rouge. Upon Aliph’s return to Whiteforge City, the mayor, Richard Biggs, assigns her and two other technicians more power plants outside of Whiteforge to repair. During their travels, Aliph learns more about the forces that threaten her world and must eventually intervene to save it.

Development

In March 2013, Even the Ocean began as two standalone games, Even and The Ocean.[1] Eventually, the two games were combined into one, Even the Ocean, and released in various online stores on November 16, 2016. As for the mix of platforming, Han-Tani-Chen-Hogan says, “the different segments of the game stem from the fact that the game should have elements that are very reading-heavy on the one hand and very platforming-heavy on the other, to show these interesting contrasts to the player.”[2] The game has been translated into Chinese, German and Russian. The Chinese translation was released on June 4, 2017, while German subtitles by Marcel Weyers and Russian subtitles were added on November 27, 2017.

Music

Even the Ocean ‘s soundtrack was composed by Sean Han-Tani-Chen-Hogan. At the time of Even the Ocean ‘s release, the soundtrack was made available as a download on Han-Tani-Chen-Hogan’s Bandcamp page and the game’s Steam page. The soundtrack contains 88 songs from the game as well as many bonus tracks consisting of outtakes and unused songs. The total running time including the bonus tracks is almost six hours.

Reception

Danielle Riendeau of VICE.com Waypoint blog placed Even the Ocean first in a top 10 games list in 2016[3] praising “the complex level design, the quirky and colorful world, the characters and their awakening as citizens of a corrupt government.”

Chloi Rad of IGN listed the game in her list of “13 Awesome Games No One Talked About In 2016”[4] saying that it’s “about balance – between the light and dark energy that drives the world, but also the other opposing forces that affect every facet of our lives. Nature and industry. Wealth and poverty,” and that “instead of challenging difficulty levels, Even the Ocean instead offers a thought-provoking story with varied mechanics (such as an interesting energy bar idea) that gracefully parallel the game’s message.”

Chris Priestman of Killscreen.com finds, “Perhaps even more fascinating, though, is how this energy system affects the logic and culture of Even the Ocean’s world.”[5]

Web links

Individual references

  1. a b Even the Ocean (Narrative Platformer from Anodyne devs) OUT NOW!In: forums.tigsource.com. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  2. Even The Ocean is a Thoughtful, Politically Aware Platformer – Waypoint.In Waypoint. Retrieved 30 December 2016 (English).
  3. Danielle Riendeau:The Dean’s List: Danielle’s Top Ten Games of 2016 – Waypoint.In: Waypoint. Retrieved 30 December 2016 (English).
  4. IGN Staff:13 Awesome Games No One Talked About in 2016.In: IGN. 27 December 2016, retrieved 30 December 2016 (English).
  5. Chris Priestman:Even the Ocean wants you to find balance in life, out next week – Kill Screen.In: KillScreen. 10 November 2016, retrieved 30 December 2016 (English).