Shh. Don’t tell anyone, but I found out about Into the Belly of the Beast [official site] via its Xbox release. It’s also in early access on Steam which is where I’m playing it and why I ended up spending part of my morning exploring an underwater creature’s cervix.
The game is reminiscent of Lumini which I mentioned on here a while back, at least in terms of the setting and basic ideas. You explore a system of caves and passages using creatures you pick up to boost your abilities and you kill things, activate switches, and generally do some light puzzle solving as you explore.
But instead of the caves of Lumini, you’re a worm who has been swallowed by a big fish and must explore its innards as you try to rescue your little worm children. The worm children are also your extra lives which, I assume, is true to worm biology IRL. Worms are weird so I wouldn’t put it past them.
I think that the cervix section is one of those language oddities. The rest of the levels in that area of the body were themed around the neck so I assume it’s cervix in that sense – pertaining to the neck rather than the term for the neck of the womb. The team is based in Berlin so it might be an English as a second language thing given cervix is almost exclusively used in normal conversation to refer to that part of the uterus (I’ve only really heard cervix for neck in medical/biology contexts). Or maybe sea monsters have uteruses in their necks. I’m not judging.
It’s an early access game so not all of the levels and body regions are in there and the boss fights are still being added. At this point in time it’s a curious thing but not a meaty one. It’s not taxing in terms of its puzzles and the art style does this thing with depth of field effects so the edges of the screen are always going blurry. I didn’t mind it, but over time it started to get a bit distracting because the effect seemed a bit too extreme for comfort.
Something I did really like was the jiggly organic nature of a lot of the environment. Things that looked like villi or nodules or polyps you had to push through or which stretched out into the passages you were swimming through.
Into the Belly of the Beastis on Steam Early Access for Windows and Mac at £10.99/14,99€/$14.99.
I’ll check back in with it once it’s complete and see if it does more for me at that point, but in the meantime I’m going to boot up Lumini and see what that’s like now it’s been released!