Grow and conquer the horrors of the ocean
Swallow the Sea is a free adventure horror video game wherein you must take a short swim and survive. Developed by Maceo bob Mair and Nicolás Delgado, this surreal survival horror game features a little egg cell that must consume to grow up and stay alive while being hunted by bigger creatures. Its gameplay is reminiscent of the early stages of Spore and the graphics are similar to Perfect Vermin, one of the developer’s other games.
Don’t let them eat you
Swallow the Sea starts you off as an egg of an unknown creature. You need to swim around and consume prey smaller than you in order to grow. At the bottom center of the screen are a half-circle that will fill up as you eat and an image of your next transformation. There are only 5 stages of transformation after your first egg state and each will require more and more consumption.
The controls are pretty simple—albeit a bit unwieldy at times: you hold your left mouse button to move and then click your right mouse button to dash and even smash through certain crumbly walls. The environment is cramped most of the time, with looping underwater tunnels and caves that look more like an alien world than anything. It’s also infested with weird-looking creatures that are usually out to get you if you’re still smaller than them.
Just like Perfect Vermin, much of the horror here is the grotesque art of the creatures and how everything looks fleshy and sinewy in a manner that’s both oddly familiar but disturbing. While the environment isn’t too large for much exploration, the experience is still quite compact and really gives the sense of being trapped and hunted as other creatures constantly swim after you in hunger.
Become the ultimate predator
All in all, Swallow the Sea is a short but enjoyable horror trip if you’re into bizarre art styles. The controls could use some fine-tuning but it’s still believable in its underwater setting and sets the horror tone well as you continue to grow and encounter even more dangerous enemies. This is a highly recommended game for anyone who likes survival horror games that don’t rely on jumpscares to deliver the premise.