Lovecraftian turn-based tactics game Stirring Abyss is out now

(Image credit: Slitherine)

Remember Terror From the Deep? The underwater X-COM seems like an obvious inspiration for Stirring Abyss, and there's a fair bit of the more recent and less damp Firaxis XCOM games in the mix as well. In Stirring Abyss, your squad of divers spend their action points crossing the ocean floor, firing spear guns at jellyfish creatures, and hoping the percent-to-hit plays out in their favor. It's also got an damaged submarine to repair and upgrade, pumping out the water to gain access to rooms with different functions like your Avenger in XCOM.

It's got another inspiration too. A short story by H. P. Lovecraft called The Temple, which is about strange things happening aboard a U-boat during World War I. Stirring Abyss moves its action ahead to 1958 and replaces the German U-boat with a US Navy submarine ominously called the USS Salem, but it's got some definite shades of the Cthulhuesque. Not just in its tentacled underwater threats, but the way you have to manage your divers' sanity as well as their oxygen.

Stirring Abyss is the work of indie studio Sleepy Sentry and is being published by Slitherine as part of their K-Project, where five percent of the profits from each game going into a fund for new independently produced strategy games.

Stirring Abyss is out now on Steam, GOG, and Humble.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.