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Depth, a 3-year-old game about killer sharks, had a very big weekend

Content update, free-to-play weekend and a big discount all add up to some attention on Steam and YouTube

Digital Confectioners
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

2014 was a pretty big year in gaming. Looking back at Polygon’s top 10, the best releases included Mario Kart 8, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Dark Souls 2, Hearthstone, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Destiny. So we’ll give you a pass if you somehow managed to miss a little indie game on Steam called Depth.

But now might not be a bad time to go back and check it out.

Depth pits four player-controlled divers against a massive killer shark. In motion, it reminds me quite a bit of a faster paced version of Evolve.

Divers move very slowly and have a limited field of view. But they’re small, and able to use the underwater terrain to their advantage. They’re also armed to the teeth. Sharks, on the other hand, are monstrously large and viciously fast. A winning strategy seems to be staying out of sight and then lunging in for the kill, ripping divers apart in a spray of gore.

Over the weekend, the team at Digital Confectioners put up a big content update. It’s called “Ghouls and Goblins” and it introduced the goblin shark, a fast-moving horror that has been genetically modified to fight harder. It also has the ability to make divers hallucinate a second goblin shark, causing them to lash out at a phantom while the real enemy sneaks up from behind.

The game normally retails for $19.99, but it was quietly added to Steam users’ libraries for free over the weekend. With all that blood in the water, the game was also reduced to $4.99. That deal lasts about another hour.

Recent reviews are very positive, with quite a few new players surprised with what they’ve seen.

The big win for the developers, however, came with a hit YouTube video. The day after the update dropped, a long-time fan of the game who goes by the handle Ohmwrecker put up a recent play session — his first since February. Since then the video has been viewed nearly a quarter of a million times. We’ve embedded it below so you can take a look.

The next level of puzzles.

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