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Under the Waves

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Under the Waves (2023) is a narrative adventure where you survey the ocean depths to find leaking pipes and make repairs. As you do you also discover a story of a grieving man retreating into himself. It creates a universally familiar story by mirroring the increasingly isolated interior life of the protagonist with the vast separation created by the waters surrounding him.

You play Stan, a marine scientist alone in an underwater research facility, grieving the loss of his daughter. If you have played Firewatch, this is familiar storytelling territory. You're tasked by your superiors on the surface with exploring the ocean and repairing the oxygen pipes to your facility. As you traverse the waters, encountering different creatures and uncovering new objects, you must also come to terms with your emotions and decide how to move forward with your life after so much pain.

Play involves exploring the ocean and the seafloor using a diving suit and a small submersible, unlocking blueprints to craft items such as oxygen canisters that allow you to move further from your base. You have a scanner that identifies areas you need to investigate for damage to pipes and must solve repair them using the tools at your disposal.

The result is a game that takes the walking simulator genre in more expansive directions. Not only does the flowing swimming add verticality but the story invites you to experience the world from a new perspective. Mulling over the questions posed and processing the loss and hurt experienced by your character makes for an impactful and deeply moving experience.

Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Under the Waves 13 months ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 4 months ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to Under the Waves. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is an Adventure, Narrative and Traversal game with Brain Game, Collecting, Puzzle and Role-Play elements. This is a single-player game.


Play Time: This game will take between 8 and a half hours and 9 hours to complete.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 16 for Bad Language.

In the US, ESRB state: During the course of the game, there are depictions of mild peril, as players encounter sirens, explosions, depleting air supplies, and a human corpse (the narration references an entire team purposefully drowned). The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the game.

Skill Level

11+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. You explore the vast ocean landscape and solve puzzles in the environment. Although it's not a hard game to play, you need patience and narrative understanding to get the most from it.


Under the Waves usually costs £24.99.

Under the Waves

Steam Store PC £24.99
PlayStation Store PS5 -
XBox Store Xbox One -
XBox Store Xbox X|S -
PlayStation Store PS4 -
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 29/08/2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Traversal (Brain Game, Collecting, Puzzle and Role-Play)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Developer: From Parallel (@FromParallel)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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