Endless Ocean Luminous Review
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Endless Ocean Luminous Review – Shallow Diving

Endless Ocean Luminous isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. This diving game isn’t really a diving simulator or a cosy game. It is rather a game where you’ll spend countless hours under the ocean discovering over 500 types of creatures that live down there. That’s about it.

While the game tries to add a bit of a story mode to the experience, these story chapters end up being locked by the mundane time sink of once again, exploring the ocean. When I did unlock a new story chapter by scanning a certain amount of fish, it usually always resulted in a short tutorial-like experience that taught me what I had already known.

I was then locked out of the next chapter until I once again, explored more of the ocean and scanned more fish.

Don’t get me wrong here. There’s something beautiful about Endless Ocean Luminous that often pulled me into the late nights in bed listening to the sounds of the water around me. After a while, I would have swam a few kilometres into this vast open world and scanned hundreds, if not thousands of fish.

Endless Ocean Luminous Review

The game’s mechanics are straightforward. You swim around, scan fish to earn points and every time you scan the species for the first time, you can listen to a badly-voiced AI telling you a little bit about it. I didn’t have much interest in the ocean creatures but I slowly found myself intrigued by this so-called “Veiled Sea” I was thrown into.

There isn’t much to do while exploring the ocean either. Areas are often empty with little to no details scattered around rocks and the sea bed. Some areas are well-designed but don’t expect any Great Barrier Reef visuals here because I seldom stumbled on anything that wowed me. When I did find a highly detailed area, it resulted in frame rate issues and even a resolution drop on the Switch.

Endless Ocean Luminous Review

The real sense of discovery in Endless Ocean Luminous is found in the various species of fish throughout the game. Each has been intricately made and painted to feel as lifelike as possible. From the Great White Sharks to the Clown Fish and even some rare, mythical legendary fish. There are loads of species to find and even hours into the game, I still enjoyed discovering them all.

The legendary fish, also known as ULM (Unique Marine Life) are obviously mythical creatures designed for the game. I can’t share any I found here but swimming around and accidentally bumping into one provided the peak of excitement in Endless Ocean Luminous.

Endless Ocean Luminous Review

Endless Ocean Luminous doesn’t have any real dangers to it either. Oxygen lasts forever, sharks don’t attack you and there are virtually no risks involved in diving deep into the ocean. So essentially, you swim around, scan fish and when you’re over it, leave.

As I progressed through the game, I was able to assign certain fish to swim alongside me while I explored the ocean. However, this is limited to a certain “capacity” unlocked at that time. So larger, rarer fish take up more of these slots meaning you can’t swim with a dolphin until you increase these slots by playing the game.

Endless Ocean Luminous Review

There’s also an online component to Endless Ocean Luminous where I could place down stamps and tag fish I found. That way, should a player use my Dive Code, which is a generated code for each dive, they would be able to see these stamps.

The online dives, on the other hand, act as large servers where other players would swim about, scan fish and tag them. In this mode, you’ll see a live feed of other players around you and can meet up with them. The game has also thrown in emotes and signs which can used to communicate with other players. Given the closed review period of the game, I wasn’t able to test this feature out though.

However, the game hopes that players truly dive (get it) deep into this online mode. Endless Ocean Luminous aims to be a “social diving experience”. Adding in other players might add a bit of life to the drab ocean.

Endless Ocean Luminous Review

While I enjoyed some moments in Endless Ocean Luminous, it generally felt quite one-note. The idea of a relaxing game should be satisfying while also being relaxing. This game isn’t. Diving gets tedious very fast. Once I held down the “L” button for the thousandth time to scan the same-looking school of fish, I struggled to keep focused on the game.

The general lack of objective also doesn’t help here either. I get the idea of “freedom” to explore the world but there isn’t much to do besides listen to some fish facts. It also struggled to keep me invested well into the game after I had unlocked most of the discoveries. It became a case of swimming around for hours hoping to find the odd species I missed the first time around.

Endless Ocean Luminous Review

I often found a cool-looking cave or canyon in the hopes it would house something secret only for it to be completely empty. The only real excitement stemmed from the odd rare fish find. However, even those are mostly found in the wide open so there’s often no point in swimming the extra mile.

I do appreciate Endless Ocean Luminous for what it is though. I respect the amount of work put into the world and each and every fish. Playing this game in short bursts was a lot easier than long periods simply because of how boring it can get. But even then, you’ll need to really be invested in the ocean life to spend weeks here.

This Endless Ocean Luminous review is based on a code sent to us by Nintendo. The game launches on 2 May only on Nintendo Switch. It retails for R999.

Endless Ocean Luminous Review


Endless Ocean Luminous is a rather shallow diving game where all you do is swim around and scan fish with little incentive and no sense of discovery. There are a few good moments to enjoy but the majority of the game goes nowhere.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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