Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Watchlist: Classroom Aquatic

Title: Classroom Aquatic
Developer: Sunken Places
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Late 2014
Classroom Aquatic is the world's first trivia/stealth game. Players play as an exchange student in a school of dolphins, taking a test that the player is in no way prepared for. They must resort to cheating in order to pass it!
Classroom Aquatic is quite literally about a school of dolphins. Basing a game on a pun might seem like it would have little substance for an experience, but Classroom Aquatic takes the premise and runs with it, promising to deliver a weird game with a unique core mechanic. The framework is that you're a human exchange student in this submerged school and to pass the absurdly hard exams, you need to cheat. Playing the demo (available here), I was impressed by the atmosphere and how fun the gameplay was. The surreal tone adds to the enjoyment, but the game itself has a solid foundation to build on, as you cautiously peek at your fellow students' tests, watch the teacher's path for the best moment to glance over, and time distractions with thrown erasers. While I only played with a mouse and keyboard, I imagine the experience would be even more immersive and absurd with an Oculus Rift.
 While the demo is understandably bare bones, the developers plan to build on the gameplay with more environments and game modes, such a Detention where you must prevent other students from cheating off your test by tricking them with wrong answers or Science Fair which tasks you with sabotaging other science projects without getting caught. You can learn more about Classroom Aquatic at the official site, vote for it on Steam Greenlight, and support the project on Kickstarter.

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