The controls are probably the most awkward aspect of Dead Reefs
, and while the game allows you to change the control scheme, there is no mouse support and I couldn't find a more effective keyboard layout than the default. Unfortunately, that layout just didn't feel right.
By default, you move your character around with the WASD keys. (W) moves you forward, while (A) and (D) turn you left and right respectively and (S) turns you 180 degrees. With the game's fixed camera, I felt like I was playing a classic survival horror game (as in pre-Resident Evil 4). If you look at the games I've reviewed, you will find very few survival horror games. That's because I really don't like the feel of them. I would have much preferred being able to use my mouse to click on the spot I want to move just like most adventure games.
When you've identified an object you can interact with, you use the arrow keys to perform one of the valid options. Again, this would normally be done with a mouse click. Though I did eventually get used to this aspect of the game, it never quite felt as intuitive as just clicking the object.
I do like the fact that Dead Reefs tries to do something different with their controls, but it doesn't really work out all that well and I would have liked the ability to switch to a more traditional format.
I find it hard to recommend this game to a lot of people. The puzzles are interesting and the story is pretty good, but the lack of mouse-support and the survival horror style movement really took a lot away. If you don't mind those things, then you might want to check it out. If this was a console game, I would say rent it first, but since it's on the PC, I doubt you will be able to do that.