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Citybuilder Surviving The Abyss invites you to the briny depths of early access

It's terrifying down where it's wetter

I tend to play citybuilders in order to design my own little world of bucolic hills or crisp modern architecture. Surviving The Abyss, meanwhile, is about building a habitat in a terrifying, inhospitable place: the deep sea. It's out in early access today.

Here's the launch trailer:

Cover image for YouTube videoSurviving the Abyss EA Release Trailer - Paradox Arc

Surviving The Abyss is published by Paradox's new publishing label, Paradox Arc, but forms a trio of survival citybuilders alongside Surviving Mars (set on Mars) and Surviving The Aftermath (set in a post-apocalyptic future). Each of these three games is from a different developer, but they're all about building a home in a dangerous place.

You might not know it to look at it, but Abyss is set in 1976, and you're tasked with constructing a deep sea research facility in the midst of the Cold War. You need to provide the expected resources like oxygen, power and food to your peeps, but you also need to make sure the lights stay on around your constructions, lest "unexpected horrors" from the dark come and mess things up. Survive long enough and you'll unlock advanced technologies, like cloning.

The current plan is for Surviving The Abyss to sit in early access for six to twelve months, with the current build offering "the stable and fully playable core experience" minus "some content and external features".

If you want to get onboard - or sink, I guess - at this stage, you can find Surviving The Abyss on Steam for £18/$18. Or if you want a less scary and more serene under-the-sea builder, check out our Aquatico review.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.