Earth Atlantis (Switch, PC)

An apocalyptic event has left the Earth 96 percent covered in water.  Machines have evolved into sea-like creatures and it’s up to you to hop into your submarine and destroy them.  Why?  Who knows?  But that’s just what you do in Earth Atlantis, a 2-D shooter with elements of exploration and strikingly unique visuals.  It’s available to download on Nintendo Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

As 2-D shooters tend to be, controls are fairly simple.  Use the control stick to steer and hold down a button to fire your weapon.  Pressing another button will cause your ship to turn around and face the other way.  Rather than scrolling in one direction, you are free to explore the mazes of underwater caves, ruined building scaffoldings, and more as you shoot down mechanical piranhas, sunfish, crabs, among other things.

As you defeat enemies, they’ll drop power-ups.  Collect them to increase your projectiles, gain shots from behind, refill your energy, fire homing bombs, and much more.  Hidden about the mazes are crates and barrels with more power-ups to find.  As you play you can unlock different subs which have varied fire and power-up progressions.  Scattered about the mazes are bosses that you must destroy, like giant squids, sea turtles, and more.  Defeat them and a path will open up with more of the map to explore.  If you lose all your energy you’ll have to begin again at the starting power with none of your power-ups intact.  Which is a bummer but at least the game saves which bosses you’ve already defeated.  When you beat the game you can try it again on Hunter Mode, where you only get one life to do it all again.

One highly noticeable aspect of the game is its unique visuals.  At first glance it just looks like a black and white Game Boy screen, but as you look closer, you’ll notice it looks more like an old fashioned map or sketchbook.  There are lots of neat things to see in the background as well, like the Statue of Liberty underwater with only the tip of her torch sticking out at the surface.  With its enemies that all look like robotic fish, the game reminded me of another classic 2-D shooter: Darius from Taito.  The bouncing bubble power-ups also make me think of Darius.  The post-apocalyptic themes also reminded me of Metal Black, another one from Taito.  Plus, the undersea submarine made me think of a unique underwater arcade shooter called In the Hunt.  So yeah, this game will get your nostalgia going.  Too bad they didn’t have a “classic mode” that played more like a 2-D scrolling shooter.

Aside from the high difficulty level, which is tough even on the “Easy” setting, the only other problem I had with the game was the map that tells you where the bosses are like a radar.  It’s a white overlay on the left top corner of the screen, but since the backgrounds are mostly beige it blends in and is hard to see.  You can turn it off, but it’s not useful either way.  But if you like unique classic styled 2-D shooters, you should check this one out anyway.

Kid Factor:

Earth Atlantis is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  You just shoot at robotic fish that explode and break apart when defeated and that’s it.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers and less experienced players may find the game too difficult and frustrating.

2 Responses to “Earth Atlantis (Switch, PC)”

  1. This is one of the many games that I have in my eshop wishlist.
    Since I have just gotten into Zelda, it is going to have to wait.

  2. Really love those graphics. Very cool. I’ll get it when I get a Switch.

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