Codename: Ocean Keeper trailer end scene
Image via RetroStyle Games

Codename: Ocean Keeper is Vampire Survivors with an underwater mecha twist

Dive deep with this undersea take on the Vampire Survivors formula.

Amidst the flurry of Steam Next Fest demos, Codename: Ocean Keeper from RetroStyle Games emerges as a standout, blending underwater mecha action with the survival challenges of Vampire Survivors. Quite the exciting twist, and one that brings with it an interesting new take on the action survival roguelike genre.

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At first glance, Codename: Ocean Keeper entices with its premise, merging the allure of ancient horrors with the futuristic focus of underwater mech combat. Players assume the role of a pilot tasked with navigating treacherous undersea environments teeming with monstrous creatures. Drawing from the survival roguelike elements of Vampire Survivors, the game challenges players to scavenge for resources, upgrade their mech, and battle increasingly formidable adversaries.

Gameplay Undersea

Gameplay in Codename: Ocean Keeper
Image via RetroStyle Games

The gameplay loop of Codename: Ocean Keeper revolves around strategic decision-making based on an ever-looming timer. Each dive into the abyss presents new dangers and opportunities, from important resource gathering to artifact scavenging, testing both reflexes and tactical prowess. Your mech can be customizable with an array of weapons and utilities and becomes the player’s lifeline against the tide of increasingly monstrous denizens.

Resource and artifact harvesting are critical aspects of the gameplay loop in Codename: Ocean Keeper. To survive the waves of alien lifeforms that arrive at specific time intervals, players must constantly gather resources and artifacts to purchase upgrades within a session. These upgrades are essential, not only for sustaining themselves but also, for upgrading their mechs and enhancing their chances against the relentless onslaught from the depths. As the countdown to these encounters ticks away, strategic resource management becomes paramount, adding a layer of constant urgency that eats away at you as you progress.

Demo Dives: Unveiling the Adventure

Abyssal Dive in Codename: Ocean Keeper
Image via RetroStyle Games

From the moment I jumped into Codename: Ocean Keeper’s demo, I was immersed in a world where action and strategy merge seamlessly. The game wastes no time throwing you into the thick of it as soon as you start the game for the first time. This immediate engagement hooks instantly, as you’re encouraged by the game’s short tutorial to explore the abyssal depths for vital resources. After this tutorial, the ticking timer begins, and the frantic race for upgrade resources begins.

Navigating the murky depths in search of resources felt exhilarating yet perilous. Yes, you’re in an undersea spider mech, but that alone is far from enough to survive the horrors that lurk in the dark. Every moment-to-moment decision counts as resources carry weight, forcing you to carefully balance the amount you gather against the time needed to return them to your mech. This dynamic adds a layer of tension and strategic depth that kept me constantly on my toes, calculating risks and rewards with each venture into the unknown.

Codename: Ocean Keeper Gameplay from the Official Demo
Screenshot by Destructoid

The timer looming in the background heightens the sense of urgency, reminding you that every second counts. It’s a thrilling balancing act that demands both quick thinking and precise execution, ensuring that each gameplay session is a gripping challenge. The monsters of the depths grow stronger with each passing moment, and you’re tasked with keeping up with the tide or risk becoming derelict at the bottom of the sea.

Codename: Ocean Keeper shines with its gameplay mechanics, however, I did find myself occasionally distracted by the repetitive nature of its music and audio design. The soundtrack initially sets a mood of suspense and anticipation, which I enjoyed, but the repetitive loops became somewhat annoying after only a few minutes. Particularly, the singular track that played during combat encounters became especially tiresome. Nevertheless, exploring the depths and overcoming challenges in this captivating underwater world was still an enjoyable experience for me, and I have no doubts RetroStyle Games will make the necessary changes for the game’s full release.

Looking Forward

Gameplay from Codename: Ocean Keeper
Image via RetroStyle Games

Codename: Ocean Keeper beckons players into its intriguing universe. A recent trailer teases a game filled with danger and peril, offering an adventure that’s both captivating and challenging for indie gaming enthusiasts. Setting itself apart from Vampire Survivors, Codename: Ocean Keeper introduces a distinctive twist that seamlessly blends undersea adventure with strategic resource gathering, a blend that highlights the promising bright future ahead for this title.

If you’re interested in trying out Codename: Ocean Keeper, you can jump in right now with its free demo available on Steam. It’s a great way to explore the game’s universe and experience its challenging strategic gameplay firsthand. Whether you’re drawn in by its unique premise or just looking for something new in indie gaming, the demo offers a taste of what promises to be an exciting change of pace for the genre.

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Darrus Myles
Darrus, a seasoned guide writer and indie developer with nearly a decade under his belt, plunges into the gaming realm like a knight charging into battle (albeit with a trusty keyboard instead of a sword). With RPGs as his domain, he fearlessly slays industry challenges, turning every obstacle into XP for his quest to game domination.