How long would you survive on a deserted island?

Under the Ocean is a side-scrolling tale of survival on a tropical island, where players must contend with bad weather, wild animals, injury, disease and more after a shipwreck leaves them stranded and alone.

Under the Ocean looks interesting in large part because I can’t really say what it’s all about. It’s a 2D side-scroller that follows the struggles of a shipwreck survivor after he pulls himself ashore on a deserted island. A number of items can be found scattered along the beach at the start of the game, but it won’t be long before players will have to take their adventure across beaches, caves, lakes and jungles, scavenging what they can to craft tools and weapons, build shelters, hunt animals for food and more.

Aside from survival, crafting appears to be the big attraction, as Under the Ocean claims to have hundreds of items that can be combined in “strange and unexpected ways.” Some combinations are obvious, like putting a spearhead onto the end of the stick to make a spear for catching fish. But others are more exotic: strap a firecracker to that spear, for instance, and you’ve got a rocket-powered weapon capable of bringing down a deadly boar.

Under the Ocean

Under the Ocean

But the question of what it’s all about looms large. The Under the Ocean website suggests that the ultimate goal is to “find your way home,” but beyond that it’s a mystery. The first playable alpha version of the game surfaced in August so there’s obviously still a long way to go before it’s ready for prime time, but even at this early stage I can’t help but be intrigued.

Under the Ocean is currently being developed for Windows-based PCs and Mac. No release date has been set.