The big blue
it's difficult to compare Aquaria with many other mainstream games but perhaps its closest point of reference is the classic Ecco. Both are underwater adventures which focus on what you might term 'exploration puzzles' and which mix a fascinating almost melancholy storyline with beautifully nuanced gameplay. You take control of Naija, a lonely sea creature who has inhabited the same patch of ocean for as long as she can remember. After a strange encounter, she feels new emotions and a sudden desire to leave and sets off on a epic journey of self discovery, intrigue and danger. You must venture forth into the wild blue yonder and use your unique skills of song to change the very form of the ocean around you. As you learn new songs, you open up new abilities which then help you access new areas, battle vicious creatures and ultimately learn the truth about yourself. Aquaria is a wonderfully compelling and original adventure that is well worth seeking out if you like your games abstract and unusual. It does play out quite similarly to Ecco but adds in elements of games like Castlevania with its exploration and general sense of atmosphere and haunting depth. The game looks lovely, making excellent use of its underwater theme to create a world which is both believable and memorable. It's a joy to explore too, with plenty of strange creatures and environments to encounter, while the puzzles are satisfying and inventive. It's not an easy game in places, but even so it won't last forever as it's not all that big. This shouldn't put you off though, as you're in for an enchanting time.