Beyond Blue, which has just washed up on Apple Arcade, drops you right into the cool of the ocean with a diving suit and a couple of voices on the intercom. For the first few minutes I swam around and explored, scanning different creatures so that an AI could build up a better idea of them and travelling to buoys that allowed me to tag distant sounds and investigate.
The moment a game like this has to nail is discovery. It’s beautifully handled. That first glimpse! I’ll be pushing through water towards a dot on the hud and a shadow slowly emerges from the blue. Whales! A pod of them! Work to be done, scanning and whatnot, but just look at them, sperm whales with those towering foreheads and laughing mouths, one of them turning on its back as it passes underneath me, huge and gentle.
Beyond Blue is full of this stuff. Whale sharks, mantas, scores of little fish gadding about. I’ve spent a long time here already, just moving over rocks, tracking dolphins, listening to the alien clicks of communication.