[Beyond PlayStation] In Other Waters Review

by EdEN, Owner

In Other Waters from Fellow Traveller and Jump Over The Age is a new adventure game in which you play as an AI guiding a stranded xenobiologist. Learn more in our In Other Waters review!

In Other Waters from Fellow Traveller and Jump Over The Age is a new adventure game on Nintendo Switch that places you in the role of an AI that is helping a stranded xenobiologist traverse a mysterious alien ocean on Gliese 677Cc. This one is an adventure game in which you’ll be exploring this ocean as you investigate and discover new paths, new creatures, new locations to explore, and more. The game is presented from the point of view of the AI, which is why the interface features a minimalist, clean look.

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Xenobiologist Ellery Vas needs your assistance during this journey since she’s searching for her friend Minae Nomura, who sent a distress signal for her. As the AI assigned to her, you will be the assistant on this adventure who helps to unravel the many mysteries of unknown ecosystems. After an initialization error, the last known comms log is recovered, and the boot-up sequence is reinitiated. A few seconds later – once you’ve pressed the A button on the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con or the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller or touched the console’s screen – you will be presented with the main user interface (UI) and the general blue and yellow presentation.

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As you can tell by now, the game can be controlled either with the Joy-Con and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller or use the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen, whichever is easier for you. The touch controls are easy to get the hang of since you just touch away at what is needed. If you go for the physical controls, you will need to activate the power panel by pressing up, the oxygen panel by pressing down, the utilities module with the L button, the heading module with the R button, and the depth module with the A button.

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Once everything is ready to go, you’re going to be scanning the general topography of each location, using the left analog stick to rotate the on-screen indicator, scanning with the B button to search for any spots you can analyze, getting a closer look with the right analog stick to bring up any pertinent observations. Once you’ve found a point of interest, you’ll be able to trace a route that will take you from your current spot to that particular area, confirming this with the A button. Vas wants to head north, so off you’ll go scanning as you go to find new routes to get you there.

You will soon run into some large fungi, and after scanning your surroundings, Vas will comment that flora and fauna of this planet needs to be documented. As you scan the large fungi, she will notice that some fast-moving creatures were hiding within the stalks and asks that you please scan them before they go away. Scan again with the B button, and you will notice a couple of them moving around you in set patterns, giving you a very specific window of opportunity to scan them. The more specimens of the same type that you end up scanning, the more data you will gather on them.

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You can also use your utilities to collect a sample you’ve scanned so that you can analyze its properties. It’s here that you will learn that the suit can be used to process samples to extract energy from them, the energy needed to keep the suit powered, as well as oxygen to keep the human alive. Each of the samples will provide a set percentage boost to one or the other, and you can also return samples back to their habitat if you want to since you can only carry a set amount of them at any time. Deploying some of the samples back into the wild can also help you to clear some paths that would otherwise be blocked by the wildlife.

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You’ll eventually get to return to base with the help of a retrieval drone, and it’s at the lab that you’ll be able to review all the data that you’ve helped Vas to collect. All of this will be split into different categories – say animals, fungus, plants – and by clicking on each category, you’ll get to read all of the relevant observations on each specimen, as well as any recorded behaviors and theories obtained from the samples you’ve collected. Who knows, Vans might end up doing some sketches as well!

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In Other Waters is an adventure that stands out on Nintendo Switch. From its minimalist look and presentation, the focus on the interactions between the AI and Vans and how their relationship changes as you progress through the game, and the excellent music and sound design that do a great job of complementing the overall chill experience, make this one an easy game to recommend on Nintendo Switch. The trailer is going to let you know if this is the type of game you’re going to enjoy since it’s most definitely not a release that all gamers are going to enjoy. In Other Waters is out now on Nintendo Switch for only $14.99.

This In Other Waters review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Fellow Traveller.

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