Review: Endless Ocean Luminous for Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has always thrilled us with its new releases and with Endless Ocean Luminous the truth is that it is not far behind. Although many were surprised at the announcement of this game and it set off alerts of a possible failure, the truth is that it has shown us that it is on par with previous Nintendo releases.

An adventure in the depths with Endless Ocean Luminous

Although it sounds a bit far-fetched, this new Nintendo Switch release is the third installment in the Endless Ocean series, a pair of installments that came to Nintendo Wii in 2007 and 2009 respectively, and which in their time were beloved by Nintendo fans, simulator fans and diving fans alike.

Endless Ocean Luminous

Endless Ocean Luminous puts you in the shoes of a diver tasked with exploring the fictional Veiled Sea, documenting marine life and finding treasure through two similar modes, solo dives and a completely beautiful story campaign. You’ll dive instantly, allowing you to swim in any direction and scan anything in sight. New marine life found will be added to a log and directions will appear as to where you can collect some treasure.

Endless Ocean Luminous

The narrative unfolds throughout Endless Ocean Luminous’s story mode, which also serves as a tutorial for most of the game’s mechanics. Here you will learn how to scan fish to add them to your catalog, call fish to swim next to you (or over you in the case of crustaceans and mollusks), as well as how to take pictures, among other things. It will also introduce you to the Mystery Board, a set of 99 secrets to discover while exploring the Veiled Sea.

Said mode is quite short, only a couple of hours, so getting into said sea certainly leaves a lot to be desired, chapters won’t be unlocked until you’ve scanned a certain amount of sea creatures, which you’ll do in Solo Dive and Shared Dive modes (i.e. online play) because if this title also has an online multiplayer mode, certainly something surprising. On the other hand, the final chapter is locked until you have completely finished the Mystery Board, which can be quite a bit to play.

Endless Ocean Luminous

There are plenty of sea creatures to discover in Endless Ocean Luminous, though it’s worth noting that, well, you might not want to play this game if you’re thalassophobic. On the other hand, your character can’t take any damage (nor can he run out of oxygen), but the game doesn’t tempt its hands in introducing you to some scary looking creatures. So you might encounter some very dangerous real-life creatures like the great sharks.

What I find the most fascinating aspect of Endless Ocean Luminous is the mystery tablet, which is a stone tablet that you unlock early on in the story mode and presents you with 99 tasks to complete as you explore the Veiled Sea. Many mysteries can vary, from scanning for certain rare creatures (known as UML, or unidentified marine life forms) or finding particular treasures, to solving more complex puzzles, such as guiding certain creatures to stone platforms that you can find scattered around the map.

Endless Ocean Luminous

As you have seen there is no action or violence in Endless Ocean Luminous so it is a title for all ages, and if you approach it with the right expectations, you will find a game that offers an incredible sense of adventure. Each new discovery of sea life or sunken treasure proves significant as you complete your catalog. On top of that, there’s a broader mystery to solve that will keep you coming back dive after dive. So if you’re a fan of marine life and diving, don’t hesitate to purchase the title through the Nintendo Switch eShop.