Barotrauma is part Subnautica, part FTL, and all Gong Show

Daedalic Entertainment is best known for publishing quirky (but generally good) point-and-click adventure games, but Barotrauma is something else entirely. It's a 2D submarine simulator for up to 16 players, set in the alien ocean of Jupiter's moon Europa, a deeply inhospitable place that is both passively and actively trying to kill you. 

You and your team of explorers are on Europa because the Earth is a mess and you're looking for a better place to live, and for some reason you've decided that your best choice is a moon where survival is only possible beneath the surface. But unlike Subnautica, where the technology has evolved to a point where everything is largely self-maintaining and easy for one person to handle, the hardware in Barotrauma seems to require a little more hands-on effort. 

The crew has to maneuver the sub through dangers waters, explore alien ruins, and complete missions of various sorts, but it sounds like just keeping the thing running will be a job unto itself. "Players must manage all kinds of on-board systems, such as the nuclear reactor, sonar, guns, machines and more. Thanks to a complex crafting system, the crew can create tools, medicines and weapons to aid their survival," Daedalic said. "It is important to act quickly and strategically, especially when faced with unexpected catastrophes." 

Player will be able to choose from one of five different classes, including the captain (only person gets to be the boss, though), and work together in crews of up to 16. Levels and events are procedurally generated to help keep things unpredictable, a "Monster Maker" will enable players to create their own subs, levels, and monsters via the Steam Workshop, and in case there was any doubt, there's no rule that says you actually have to be a team player: You can work hard to accomplish your mission, or "betray your crew and bury them in the depths."

Barotrauma is being developed by FakeFish and Undertow Games, and is expected to launch on Steam Early Access this spring. Find out more at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.