Ecco The Dolphin and Metroid had a baby, and named it Bastion.
That rather laboured metaphor is to say that SotD is a mish-mash of all of the above. Merryn’s dad is lost at sea so she builds a submarine and goes to look for him in deep, winding underwater caverns, along the way finding upgrades to her sub that let her explore previously inaccesible areas.
It’s presented in a children’s storybook style, right down to the a-bit-too-twee narrator who describes all of Merryn’s thoughts and actions (that’s the Bastion part) as she explores.
In a rather-odd choice for a game like this, the map always shows your next destination, and enough of your surroundings are revealed that you can usually figure out how to get there too. It somewhat diminishes the exploration aspect when you can so easily tell which direction is the right way and it makes the world feel a little less natural as a result. Compare to exploring Super Metroid’s Brinstar, with its directonless caverns to get thoroughly lost in- finding a cool secret is less fun when you know you’re going the wrong way and are bound to find something nice.
Fin or Bin:
The presentation is nice and all, but the gameplay so far has mostly been solving underwater physics puzzles and there’s very little ‘troid to speak of. I’m kind of on the fence- meaning, I’ve decided, it goes to the Bin for now. I’ve got too many games to get through to get hung up on a “maybe”- it gets another chance later on.