Yesterday, I watched in shock as my cat kept staring at my empty room, hissing and moving away while her fur stood on end. She was scared out of her wits, making me rethink my belief in the supernatural.
I read somewhere that animals possessed the uncanny ability to see the dead. Ever since, the thought of a ghost lingering behind me while I am playing Hidden Deep, waiting for the precise moment to make a debut in the horror 2D platformer, has kept me up at night for the past couple of days.
Hidden Deep in a Nutshell
Jokes aside, the sci-fi-based horror 2D platformer has achieved what many indie games can only grasp in their dreams. Developer Cogwheel Software discovered the perfect balance between horror, gore, and jump scare and managed to combine it with a neat little package called Hidden Deep.
The game pays homage to some of the best cult classics like Event Horizon (1997), The Thing (1982), and Alien (1986). These movies gave birth to the horror genre as we know it today, much like Hidden Deep is the premonition to all indie titles we can expect from the future. It’s a milestone in the world of gaming, and in this guide, we will show you how to best traverse this new world.
- For the best experience, set the resolution to 1920×1080. Higher resolutions will make the UI appear small.
- There are three difficulty modes: Expedition, Deep Expedition, and Intense Expedition. Higher difficulty spawns more monsters, and you have fewer lives to complete the stage.
- Total lives are shown at the top left of the screen and split between Engineers and Scouts. You can switch between them by pressing Shift + 1 or 2.
- Both Scouts and Engineers serve different purposes.
- Each crew member’s death and destroyed equipment reduce your lives by one, and you fail the level if you lose all your lives.
- Both scouts and engineers have different equipment for different levels.
Hidden Deep Movement Guide
- Since it’s a 2D platformer, you can only move left and right by pressing A and D.
- You can run by holding down Left Shift while pressing A and D.
- Pressing S while standing at an edge will let you gradually descend. It can kill you if you try it beside a high ledge.
- Climb down ladders by pressing S while standing next to them. To slide down, keep pressing S.
- Pressing S/W while close to a ladder will let you climb down/up.
- Pressing S on solid ground gets you into a crawl position. Pressing S twice puts you into a prone position. Crawling lets you wield a handgun, which is impossible when crouching.
Hidden Deep Scout Guide and Equipment Breakdown
Scouts are good sustained fighters. They have more ammo and carry a versatile set of tools best suited for exploring new regions and killing enemies.
- Weapons – Although both scouts and engineers start with a pistol, scouts have more ammo and can even carry an assault rifle.
- Grappling Hook – Great for safely reaching higher ground, descending to caverns, and being used as a zipline. Scouts can fire while ascending/descending on a grappling hook, but they cannot reload. Reserve your shots and practice your aim.
Both engineers and scouts can use a zipline. However, they cannot use a weapon while attached to it. Secure the area with a scout before switching over to the engineer.
Hidden Deep offers some of the best physics among indie games, so be careful when swinging across gaps. You can die from the impact of swinging into a wall. Consider using a zipline instead if possible.
- Scan-Ball – The scan-ball has limited uses and runs on a battery. You can use it to scout ahead, and any areas you explore will show up on the mini-map. You can also use it to kill monsters; however, it’s not the most efficient use of the gadget.
As you advance to later stages, you’ll discover more uses for the scan ball, such as:
- Picking up magnetic objects and bringing them to the character.
- Pushing buttons that are inaccessible to the character.
- Shocking weaker monsters.
- Rope – Rope is a substitute for the grapple gun. Although the scout has no use for a rope, they need it to create a pathway for the engineers who do not have access to the grapple gun. Note that you cannot use a weapon on a rope regardless of whether you’re a scout or an engineer.
- Explosive Charges – You can use explosive charges to blow holes in the floor and create passageways to new zones.
- Terra-Scanner – Scans the ground and lets you know if there is a passage underneath.
- Plasma Cutter – The plasma cutter is available in early missions but is not required until Day 62, where you need it to cut through metal platforms.
Hidden Deep Engineer Guide and Equipment Breakdown
Engineers primarily operate vehicles. They are not the best in combat and are safe from monster attacks when inside a vehicle. However, vehicles can also be destroyed alongside other features such as:
- They can only travel on flat ground.
- Engineers can use elevators to transport them.
- Can use cranes to move them to lower/higher ground.
- Tunnel Machine – The Tunnel Machine digs through the surface horizontally. Most levels have only one or two places you can dig through. However, there is no actual limit to the exact number of sites you can dig through.
- Bridge Builder – The Bridge Builder has a limited supply of bridge pieces; as a result, you can only close small gaps. This machine is mainly used to access other vehicles over short distances. Use carefully.
- Crane – The crane is the only vehicle that can move vehicles around the map. There are two types of cranes in-game:
- Platform Crane – Comes with a platform capable of carrying a single vehicle along with a few crew members. It also has a magnet letting the crane stick to metallic surfaces.
- Claw Crane – Has a giant claw that grabs vehicles and places them on nearby platforms.
Hidden Deep features realistic physics, so be cautious when moving vehicles with cranes. Moving too fast can result in destroying the vehicles and killing both the crew and the vehicle.
- Dump Truck – Carries jumpable objects and disposes of them either to the left or the right of the truck.
Hidden Deep Survival Tips
- Upon death, you respawn at the nearest flat surface on the upper or lower floor from your death location.
- Your body disappears upon death, so enemies scatter out when you respawn. That doesn’t mean there are no enemies in the area.
- You can die very quickly if you’re not careful. Sources of damage include falling from twice your height, crashing into walls, monsters dealing 20% flat damage (some have additional damage-dealing abilities mentioned below), and radiation zones.
- Never rush back to your death location. Shoot dark regions to aggro enemies to your current position and kill them first before moving on. I recommend using headphones because you can miss little skittering noises otherwise.
Hidden Deep Enemy Guide
- Worms – The first enemy you’ll encounter in-game. Deals 20% HP damage on contact and 45% damage if they leap at you from close range. Two worms can kill you, so avoid getting surrounded. They are weak to gunshots and can be killed with a single shot from most weapons. They can also spawn from vents.
- Flies/Fliers – Takes three shots to kill, one if you headshot them and is hard to aim since it flies around. Deals 20% HP damage and occasionally drops a worm upon death. Most commonly encountered enemy in the early game.
- Ceiling abomination – Giant hanging tentacle monster. Does not show itself unless you’re within range. Instantly kills on contact and takes eight shots to kill. Keep an eye out for bumps in the ceiling.
- Spider & Spider Eggs – Creepy crawlies that aggro as soon as you’re in range. They are not as fast as the fliers but move more quickly than worms and jump at you from a distance. They have two attacks; one deal 20% HP on contact, and the others is a spiked stab that deals 46% HP damage.
Spider eggs spawn at least 5 spiders when you get closer or shoot them. It’s better to destroy the egg, but you’re more likely to run out of ammunition at greater difficulties, so it’s better to avoid them or to trap them in case you can’t shake them off.
- Use the scout to take the lead and clear off zones before bringing the engineer, especially since the latter can only operate vehicles.
- Check inventory before starting a mission. Also, check if you can control more than one squad member (Shift + 1,2). Inventory and squad composition determine how you approach every new stage, so make it a habit.
- The game is in its infancy, so avoid trusting the AI for anything other than running like a madman in the assigned direction. Get into the practice of clearing out a zone before giving commands so that they don’t ‘accidentally run into enemies.
- This is not Rambo, so avoid going all gung-ho when you spot an enemy. Beginner stages offer plenty of ammo, but as the stages get more difficult, you’ll be wasting resources if you chase and kill every critter on the map. Save your ammo and energy balls for truly harrowing situations.
- Follow objectives to the mark because, in almost all cases, you can achieve them without killing certain enemies. Try trapping them behind doors and under elevators.
- Practice switching between characters became later puzzles relying on quick-switching with little room for error.
- Always crouch beside ledges before attempting to climb down(especially if you are not using a rope or a zipline). Crouching cushions your fall over short distances, but you can still die if the gap is too big.
- Do not wander too far from a squad member. Staying close means you can spot incoming danger before it has a chance of draining your hitpoints. Even so, always clear the zone before switching.
- Keep an eye and ear out for environmental hazards. Look for small visual cues such as warning signs or the Geiger counter going off like crazy.
Hidden Deep is a rare delicacy for horror lovers. It’s the lovechild of Dead Space and Alien, perfectly tied and presented in a neat little 2D platformer package. The game is unforgivingly challenging at higher difficulties, and though some find it unfair, the niche audience it’s targeted to love and adore the idea of a near-impossible challenge.
Have you tried it out yet? If so, then feel free to share your thoughts on the game. Which day did you find the most challenging? How many times were you scared out of your wits? Share your thoughts in the comments below.