They Breathe is the first indie game ever released by the Swedish-based independent game studio, The Working Parts. According to The Working Parts Steam webpage, the studio declares, “We are united by our passion for making games and our desire to take the medium towards greater maturity.” They Breathe was released on Xbox in 2011, and re-released for PC on Steam Greenlight, May 23rd, 2014. Players can purchase the game for a reasonable price on Steam(https://store.steampowered.com/app/294140/) or the Xbox Live Marketplace(https://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/They-Breathe/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d80258550a06).
They Breathe is an action-adventure horror game where players take control of a frog trying to survive in a dangerous, ominous environment. According to the Steam website, “As you swim deeper, it’s up to you to figure out the rules of an insidious ecosystem where nothing is as it first seems.”
Surviving on random air bubbles floating to the surface, the player controls a small frog creature pushing deeper and deeper into the unknown. The ominous-looking background moves and breathes as the frog navigates through the environment. The depths of the sea are filled with strange dangerous creatures that must be avoided at all costs. Other frogs paralyzed by mysterious creatures can be saved by being pushed into rising air bubbles. The goal of the game is to reach the very bottom of the sea and save all your frog friends in deep trouble!
Understanding the function and purpose of the frogs/creatures is enough to scare the average gamer. The horror genre tag is achieved by engulfing the player in a mind-game type scenario. Grasping the message and meaning of the game is another horror scenario in itself. They Breathe leaves the player guessing and wanting more. This game is a noteworthy indie title and gamers of all ages can enjoy the simplistic yet mind-bending content.
By Luke Venchus