Ocean Shift (Mobile & Tablet) - Abigail Tan (16) Brentwood
“An isometric puzzle-strategy game where the player navigates the ocean of an alien planet by manipulating the terrain, learning about rocks and minerals along the way.”
After a failed space exploration experiment by a scientific research organisation, the player has crash-landed in the ocean of an alien planet and must explore the environment by navigating the ocean and creating paths by altering the terrain. Throughout the course of the game, they will discover information about rocks and minerals and eventually find out if there was ever life on the planet.
The game is an isometric turn-based puzzle-strategy game where the player must get their submersible to the goal to complete each level. Unlike in other strategy games, the player can alter and shift the terrain by moving units around on land and water. Units can move only on certain terrain types and can dig and build terrain to create paths for other units and allow a path to be cleared for the submersible.
There are no enemies or hazards; the only thing standing in the way of reaching the goal is the rocky terrain, which the submersible cannot travel through. It will require perceptive thinking and problem solving from the player to work out how to overcome the obstacles and clear a path to complete the objective.
The player interacts with the game using the phone or tablet touchscreen. To use a unit, they tap on it. This brings up the 'Move', 'Dig' and 'Build' buttons. The player taps one of these buttons to tell the unit what to do. Then the tiles that the unit can move to or dig/build are highlighted in red and the player taps a tile to do the action. The player can deselect a unit by tapping another one or anywhere else on the screen.
The 'End Turn' and 'Restart' buttons are just tapped to do that action.
The main target audience is teenagers aged 13-18 since the game is challenging but is also intuitive and easy to understand. It would be most suited for young people since it has a subtle educational aspect about rocks and minerals. However, this aspect is subtle so it wouldn't be off-putting for older audiences.
The game would also be ideal for people who want to play strategy games but don't have much time to spend on gaming. As my game is on mobile, it's easy to pick up and put down but can still be deep, interesting, and thought-provoking.