Barotrauma (Claustrophobic Navigational Incompetence Simulator)


Barotrauma is nothing if not claustrophobic. From the fact that your characters’ heads are mere inches from the ceiling, to the tiny control rooms sectioned off by manually operated doors, you’re instantly set with a sense of dread. A sense of unknown vastness for you to explore in this flimsy, tiny little claustrophobic pillbox. Barotrauma is an enigma of a game, with an excellent atmosphere and a constant pressure to see what’s deeper in the inky black ocean.


Barotrauma plays like your standard point-and-click command-and-control simulator. You control a captain and various other crew members (depending on who is still alive), and can issue automatic commands such as maintenance of specific sectors, or manually control each character for emergency purposes or fine-tuning. The submarines are controlled with either an autopilot or manual controls. Your sonar is one indicator to help you navigate around the water, with turrets and other guidance systems to help. Most importantly, you have light beams that allow you to penetrate the inky black water in the direction you are looking or aiming. However, these simple controls give way to a deceptively difficult form of gameplay, with navigational incompetence almost always killing your crew before the undersea monsters. The best part of Barotrauma is its creepy atmosphere, with dark, inky blackness of the ever-growing sea surrounding your every move. Whether it be the eerie ping of the sonar, the offbeat rhythm of a mechanic fixing another leak, or the call of something deep beneath you, you feel like you’re surrounded by despair. That presence never leaves, and gets even worse the second you choose to dive out of the submarine in search of rare resources. Barotrauma is an experience best played with friends, but can be truly enjoyed by yourself if you are looking for the penultimate claustrophobia simulation.


Barotrauma Official Steam

Written by Steve, Cleaver of Plebian Flesh

Fake Fish, Undertow Games (developer), Daedalic Entertainment (publisher)
4 / 5