A spaceship crash. A watery world full of cute but vicious foes. A sarcastic AI. These are just a few elements awaiting you in Professor Lupo: Ocean, a puzzle adventure follow-up to Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets, sending you on an aquatic journey to discover your true identity and uncover the mystery surrounding you.
The game starts with you waking up in a pod as it sinks into the water. You manage to break free of the pod and swim back to the ship. At that point, you meet Plato, a rather sarcastic and combative AI that refers to you as a “clone” and informs you that you have a few thousand tasks to complete. This starts you on your journey, exploring the crashed ship, avoiding enemies, and solving puzzles. As you explore, you begin to realize there may be more to the crash than you once thought, and your search for a way out turns into a search for answers.
Professor Lupo: Ocean is one big puzzle, each room set up like a grid and is full of blinking lights indicating where doors are. Your collar can open these doors, but beware what’s behind them when you do. Puzzles rely on water currents, and when a door with water behind it is opened, water rushes out and carries you away with it. This can lead to any number of disasters, such as ramming into sharp coral on the walls (seeing yourself mangled up is a pretty rough sight).
There’s also plenty of enemies to avoid. Each time you encounter a new foe, Plato will put an entry for it in your archives. Many of the baddies are adorable at first, but you’ll begin to notice they transform into lean, mean, killing machines. It takes a while to learn how to avoid them, but once you get the hang of their patterns, you’ll be breezing through certain areas.
It’s also possible to find pages hidden scattered around the ship that give tidbits of information. These pages are usually found in dangerous spots, like right next to sharp coral or at deadends in rooms with lightning fast enemies. It’s tough to get these and it’s completely optional to do so, but discovering them adds an extra challenge and makes the puzzles a little more intense. Plus, they help flesh out this mysterious world even further, so it’s perfect if you like a little more frustration and reward.
The graphics are clean and polished and work well for the story, building off the first Professor Lupo game’s aesthetic. They’re very stylized, which contrasts with the setting of a spaceship crash, but they also match the advanced technology of the ship and the futuristic feel of the story. The soundtrack has a mysterious and almost unsettling feel at times, fitting perfectly with the game. Also, the voice-acting is very entertaining and enjoyable, even Plato’s sarcastic voice is fun to listen to.
Professor Lupo: Ocean is full of brain-teasing puzzles with a compelling story that’s fun and frustrating all at once. It’s an entertaining way to spend a few hours and exercise your problem solving muscles without breaking them, as well as enjoy a good story with a little bit of mystery and sarcastic AI companions. Those who enjoyed solving the Professor’s first game of mysteries – horrible pets and all – are bound to enjoy this one as well, so get your wetsuit on and dive into this watery adventure.