Beyond Blue Is a Calming Edutainment Game About Hanging Out With Sea Life
If you’re a gamer who’d like to learn more about the ocean then Beyond Blue would be the perfect game for you. It features a varied library of sea life along with short, informative videos that include interviews with marine biologists that all aim to teach players about the ocean and its importance to our planet. However, if you’re expecting an educational game that also has challenging, involved gameplay then you might be left a bit disappointed with Beyond Blue’s short eight-mission campaign.
As a deep-sea diver and scientist named Mirai, you’ll spend most of your time swimming around in a beautiful ocean and scanning whales, sharks, dolphins, and turtles. There are no timed objectives, no threat of death, and no difficult choices to make. While this gameplay is so simplistic that it makes Beyond Blue lack replay value, I still had a fun time playing because of the game’s relaxing, laid back atmosphere and impressive-looking sea life.
Despite being an indie game, Beyond Blue’s sea creatures were well-animated and the game’s various environments (such as its pitch black deep sea trenches and well-populated ocean floor) were stunning. One of the game’s most visually-impressive moments is whenever it asks you to closely examine one of its whales. The game does a great job at giving these massive creatures a foreboding sense of size whenever you have to get up close and personal in order to give them more detailed scans.
Unfortunately, while the sea life looks good, it doesn’t react to Mirai all that much. Schools of fish will swim away whenever she approaches but dolphins and sharks don’t pay her any mind even when she’s inches away from them. There’s also not much interactivity with the sea life in general since all Mirai can do is scan them and none of the animals hunt each other or interact with each other in any meaningful way. Beyond Blue does a good job of depicting sea life but the game doesn’t have a dynamic ecosystem, which results in levels that look great but feel static.
There’s also a surprisingly in-depth story that’s about Mirai struggling to balance her personal & professional lives that had some touching moments but I wouldn’t describe the story as something that stuck with me because of the campaign’s short length.
Beyond Blue is a relaxing, short $20 edutainment game that’ll be a fun time for gamers who are curious about the deep blue sea and its inhabitants. Just don’t go into it expecting gameplay that’s deeper than a puddle.
*PS4 code provided by publisher*
- Beautiful environments
- Calm, relaxing atmosphere
- Visually impressive sea life
- Does a good job teaching about the ocean
- Not much replay value
- Very short
- Sea life lacks interactivity and levels feel static