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Rating: 3.9/5 (56 votes)
Comments (35) | Views (7,636)


TrickyIt was a fiasco from the start. An experimental submarine, an inexperienced crew, and even if you survived the trip cross the ocean, the American fleet would be more than happy to blow you to pieces. But if you could have said no to your Nazi commanders, you wouldn't be spending the December of 1941 freezing fifty meters below the surface of the Atlantic. Now you've lost contact with the bulk of other ships, and the only evidence you've found of their existence were scattered wrecks, torn apart by... something. You knew the mission was suicidal. But there are fates worse than death out there. Subbania is an HTML5 metroidvania-style action-adventure by ektomarch, where cosmic horrors lurk in the depths.

Guide your sub with the [arrow] keys, firing your basic torpedo with [X]. As you explore the ocean, you will discover upgrades. Once you pick up some extra weapons, you can switch between them with [C]. [Enter] opens the map screen and gives you additional information about your sub's capabilities. Subbania is eerie, unsettling, and captivating. The hypnotic soundtrack and stark monochrome pixel art manage to evoke creepiness aplenty, and the unique vector lighting system keeps things shadowy and atmospheric, like a version of Operation Neptune gone horribly awry. It is a little stingy on the save points, which can make it a little hard to orient yourself after some Lovecraftian horror has ententacled you. Still, Subbania has an entire undersea world to explore, packed with enough weirdness to make even H.P. Lovecraft go "Hey... that's pretty weird!"

Play Subbania


Can't get it to work in FF. I've clicked the link to play if having issues in FF, but no joy. I'm not going to install Chrome (I uninstalled it cuz I really didn't like it) just to play a game, why do developers pigeon hole themselves in one browser?

[Try it again, please. I had the wrong version up when we first published the review. Dallas, the developer, sent me a new version that should fix the non-Chrome browser issue. Thanks, and I apologize for the inconvenience. -Jay]


There should be a special category for award-winning games that cannot be played on the most common browser software.

Waste of time.

[What "most common" browser are you trying to play it in? The game is playable for me in all the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. The only issue I noticed was in Safari there was no sound, and in Opera the background music tracks looped at very short intervals. Remember that this is an HTML5 game, and because not all browsers support HTML5 in the same way that they do Flash or Unity, some compatibility issues are to be expected until the technology, and the various browsers' support for it, matures. -Jay]


...aaaaand suddenly, it no longer works on Opera...


It's running just fine for me on Firefox. I just finished the opening cut scene though. I find the dialogue very unbelievable 1941 Nazis.

bluegriffin18 January 30, 2013 12:35 AM

I was able to play this game, but there is a glitch. If you scale the game to fit the whole screen when you did it zooms in on the top of the screen not letting you see how to continue.

The first boss didn't do anything when I met it. I triggered the dialog, but I guess I wasn't close enough to make it attack?

Also a secret for the players:

Under the wrecked ship is a health bonus

and did anyone

see the bathtub in the first bosses lair? Can I get to it or is it just for show?

antilapsarian January 30, 2013 6:31 AM

It failed to load a segment of dialogue in the intro - "You haven't changed, captain" - then froze Firefox when I tried to scale it in the hopes that it might work again. I had to force-close and restart the browser, but now it's not loading what I assume is the first bit of gameplay (descend to 50 feet and full speed ahead). I've tried twice with the same result, and my Firefox is updated.

A bit weirded out by the way the female character in the intro is introduced and treated, but since I was unable to play further I suppose that's beside the point.



I have seen quite a few now, but dont have a clue yet if there is a use for them

LightWarriorK January 30, 2013 9:44 AM

Wish there was a mute button. Music gets old really fast.

LightWarriorK January 30, 2013 10:16 AM

I've also found two glitches. First, the game does not wait for the advertisement, so we miss the "New Game" and "Continue" options, since after the ad, the screen goes grey. Second, I've also found that the if the screensaver activates, then the display of the game is destroyed, requiring a page refresh. I'm playing in Chrome, if that helps.

[I'm also using Chrome and the start screen displays normally for me after the ad. In any event, I've disabled the ad for this game. As for "the screensaver", I don't know what that is. My suggestion would be to disable it. -Jay]

hothotpot January 30, 2013 3:34 PM

I am really digging this game. It's crazy trippy, and pretty difficult, but really interesting. For what it's worth, I'm using Chrome and having no problems running it.

My only complaint is that I find the map to be pretty much useless. I can't for the life of me figure out how to read it. But I also really wouldn't call the game strictly metroidvidian, it has a fairly linear approach...FAIRLY.


I am stuck :(

When i reach the second artery it tells me i have to clear my heart, but i have no idea how :(

Also i found a bug

On the laser room that is before the Evil Mermaid/Lich Boss you can't go back. Its just black scree when you try to exit it.

Helga von Lichtenstein January 30, 2013 6:55 PM

@xxerox I accidentally

shot the monster, which let me pass through.

I have been wandering in circles for a while, but I think I've been everywhere. I have

70% Turbo, 28 armour, firing rate 8.33%, and I've killed the 'shrimp queen'

plus I've found

a monkey statue? As well as an armour upgrade surrounded by vines but I can't get to it

Has anyone progressed further?


I can't really comment on this game since I haven't played all the way through yet, but, having played most of Metroid series, I wanted to point out that Metroid games are fairly linear as well. There are certain areas you cannot reach until you get certain abilities or weapons.


I've reached a point where the game keeps crashing.

It's not long after you kill the queen thing inside the ship. Two areas later, I believe. Shortly after the two exits come into view, before I can even get close to them, the game screen changes to some gray rectangles. It doesn't seem to do anything after that.

I'm using Firefox 18.0.1. I could try it in either Chrome or IE, but I don't know how to transfer the saved game.

bluegriffin18 January 30, 2013 11:58 PM

I'm stuck on the second boss when it glitches. My screen zooms in on the top left section so I can move, but can't see my ship. I die after not being able to avoid the boss. Then it zooms up even more when I die.
Running Safari browser.


Only a short way into the game, but the intro on this is awful.


I have the exact same issue as Bill

I also am running firefox 18.0.1, and would try chrome but can never figure out where the save files go in chrome.



The map is pretty useful

Black is the empty areas, white are the walls and such

Little dots are live enemies or just fish

little boxed arrows are zone lines

Question marks are anything - but will be an enemy or zone lines

Well that is what I can see so far


Just for info, and sorry for the spam - that is definitely a firefox issue. I ran though past the same stage in Chrome with no issues.

Also, I had not appreciated how much slower it was running in Firefox.

So I would say without a doubt that this is really a Chrome only game atm.

(Got a hell of a laugh at the "Join the British Navy" Add on this page :) )


I'm also having trouble with the second "Clear your own heart" What does that even mean?? I'm at the one where you're taken down into the lava and there's a transmission cut scene right before the save.


Oh, and it's also the not too long after

the friendly monster that wants to "spar"


Alright, this is pretty addictive! It has a nice atmosphere. I only turned the music off after a few hours. Got depressed ;-)

I'm pretty stuck currently. I think I've gone to the whole game twice or thrice now, but still can't find what I need. I have the feeling I need a

third weapon to break the cracked cross-like blocks

but I'm not sure.

As above mentioned I cannot find any

boss in the ship, I just run into a dead end after the lake with crocodiles and falling rocks. There's breakable blocks above which I can't break, because I can't shoot vertical.

Unfortunately I'm now almost at the point that I'm fed up with backtracking and searching. Any help anyone? Do I need more description of where I'm at in the game?

steeny124 January 31, 2013 4:23 PM

For anybody having trouble with the second artery:

You have to have found the bomb upgrade, magnet gun, and the homing weapon, thing

http://ektomarch.com/blog/?p=48 See the comments for more details

steeny124 January 31, 2013 4:27 PM

Swoopie, if you're at where I think you are,

there should be vines to the right, and you can have the dragon shoot fire at the vines. Also, there is a bomb upgrade to allow you to break the cracked blocks. Look at that link I posted in my previous comment. The maker of the game answers people's questions. I was able to get him to answer a couple of my own questions.


THanks Steeny, I just read about your suggestion in those comments indeed. Not sure if it's the same area, not sure if I encountered a


yet, but I definitely came across


. I'm going to give it a try!

Ok, forgot to submit, and I was trying, but now I cannot find the friggin'



Ok, thanks for the hints! I've found it and am now fighting a very difficult boss! Frustration is gone though ;)

bluegriffin18 February 1, 2013 12:51 AM

I unscaled the game and it no longer zooms once i meet the 2nd boss, but it still won't continue if I die.


For me static is loading instead of graphics.

silent george February 1, 2013 5:44 PM

I'm at a place with

two dragons in a lava pit, no vines in sight. I have killed said dragons with no reward.

I haven't found a bomb upgrade yet. I'm at 70% turbo, 25 armor, 8.3% weapon.

My problem is that I just spent a great deal of time getting back to this place, after somehow getting spilled back into a much earlier point in the game. Argh! What's the right way to go? I'm not saving anymore after this until I feel like I'm in new territory.


Great, atmospheric game. Tricky intro but be persistent!


Oh, and this game has the most irritating BGM.


Where us the bomb upgrade located? I stuck after beating the shrimp queen.

Helga von Lichtenstein February 9, 2013 10:33 PM

Finished the game and the ending ... well it was different then what I would have expected. It... it made me impressed, if that is the right word. The game is pretty solidly made and just needs a little to get used to.


Just won the game...that ending. I spared the creature, what changes if you kill it?

foundbugs March 1, 2020 9:42 PM

I think I found a bug that you might be able to fix, Jay. In one of the final rooms, the game is trying to load this image:


... but there's no image there presently, at least not when I try to load the URL in FireFox. Not surprisingly, this causes the game to crash. This is especially unfortunate given how close it is to the end of the game!


^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

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