Having been traumatized for life by Sonic the Hedgehog's terrifying Labyrinth Zone, I am approaching Wake's interesting concept with caution: you control an engineer trapped in a sinking cruise ship as he tries to find his way to the highest point of the boat.

"The rising water mechanic always interested me," says James Whitehead of Boss Baddie (Lunnye Devitsy). He cites other titles with underwater levels like Thunderbirds and Sink or Swim as inspiration. "It’s similar to a zombie style of game where something bad is slowly approaching the player. It’s up to them to provide their own path to safety, and the same is true here."

The only way players can die in this "quiche-sized mini adventure" is by drowning -- obstacles simply knock you out until the constantly rising water rouses you (on more difficult settings, the water level rises faster). You can increase your score in the game, which is submitted to a global leaderboard, by escaping as fast as possible, collecting items, and not fainting.

Whitehead and tester/music composer Alex Sumersai-Rai have worked on the game for six months already and expect to release it for Windows PCs later this month after "more testing, optimising and additional artwork." The final game will have Xbox 360 controller support, 18 achievements, and three difficulty settings. You can download a "rolling demo" from Boss Baddie's site.

[Via TIGSource]