Get ready to hit that respawn button and dive deep! Developed and Published by WarpedCore Studios, Aqua Lungers brings back that often forgotten couch multiplayer experience. You can have as many as four players in this surprisingly humorous split-screen title. With deaths aplenty, funny visuals, and a banger of a soundtrack, this may be the game to let you enjoy a laugh with your roommates for an afternoon. Aqua Lungers has a very familiar control layout and recognizable game mechanics, so any player can literally “dive in!”
Dive After Dive
Aqua Lungers, introduces no new controls or stratagems. You have your standard move, attack, jump, and change weapon controls utilized in 2D platformers for decades. Swim to the sunken treasure ships, fill up with gold, and slowly make your way back to shore. But ye be warned! Swarms of mean-mugging aquatic creatures are ready to defend their stash. Attacking omnidirectional foes one at a time is what you will be doing the most in the unfriendly waters. No one-hit deaths here, but having a few hit points to spare won’t save you from eventually turning into giblets.
You will really feel the weight of the gold held against you as you attempt to resurface with man-eating piranhas seeking revenge after you slayed their comrades. The extra slowdown after filling up, paired with the ease of dropping your stash, create a sense of urgency best shared with another to ridicule you for your struggles. You’ll definitely want to experience Aqua Lungers in multiplayer mode. The single player, while no different than the multiplayer, is for sure missing the same spark. It’s not as fun when you’re racing against yourself. You’ll also lose your motivation if you reach a roadblock and can’t get over the hump without accompaniment.
Big Budget Battle Themes and Silly Walk Cycles
The cut-and-paste look rears it’s head once again. I know I’m a little biased, since I prefer pixels and sprites. However, I’m led to believe that this is a more cost efficient method, in terms of animation, for smaller budget games. The divers look so cute with their large feet. It’s adorable and also disheartening watching them walk around so eagerly, only to be ingested by a giant pink shark within moments of touching the water. This really brought me back to the flash animation era of the 2000s. I envision myself in middle school computer class playing something similar to Aqua Lungers on websites such as Newgrounds or Miniclip, then minimizing my window as the teacher walks by.
I laughed out loud upon playing the first level and hearing the intensely orchestrated score. Real instruments are back, and the music is heroic and triumphant. Strings, woodwinds, brass backings, literally anything you would hear from a Peter Jackson film, make their presence heard in this title. When you die and die, over and over, the music keeps its headstrong tone, making you feel even more of a fool for doing your diver a disservice by being bad.
Aqua Lungers is definitely a niche title. Difficulty aside, the game is entertaining enough and designed to be experienced in real social circumstances for players looking to find the pleasure in pain. And for those few, it’ll do just the trick.