Vertico: a free isometric shooter about angry fish in a coral reef maze

More from the mammoth stockpile of Ludum Dare 29 entries: Vertico , created by Sebastian Janisz, is an isometric "three degrees of freedom" shooter, in which you dive to explore a vertically stacked coral reef. Along the way you'll meet a selection of ocean critters, and, like any good marine biologist, will shoot them to death. Er, it's for the best—a sinister obelisk is making them angry.

Agitated fish aren't your only issue. As you dive, your ship loses energy. In easy mode this can be replenished by killing more fish, just like in real life. In normal, you'll have to return to the surface instead, which means carefully judging when you're about to hit the meter's half-way point.

That bar can be increased by collecting the capsules scattered around the reef, creating another obstacle: how to navigate around the isometric maze-like structure. It's a short game with some clever ideas, using the unusual presentation in ways that feed back into the challenge. There's some initial difficulty in navigating an isometric game across three dimensions, but UI elements help keep the action clear.

You can download Vertico from its Ludum Dare entry page , and find more from Janisz at his website .

Thanks, Indie Games .

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.