On October 18th, 1988, at the geological research station "Antarctica 1", something has happened. For the past six months, a research team lead by Vladimir Efimov has been drilling into the ice there, and researching and exploring the prehistoric minerals that they've been finding.
Six weeks prior, however, communication with Antarctica has gone completely silent. The son of Vladimir Efimov has been sent there as part of a four-man rescue team to find out what's happened. However, nothing could prepare him for what he'd find.
The game was released on August 14th, 2020. It was ported to Xbox One/Xbox X and Playstation 4 on December 12, 2021.
Antarctica 88 contains examples of:
- The '80s: The game is stated to be set on October the 18th, 1988.
- Apocalyptic Log: Like all good Survival Horrors, this game has its share. Finding all of them triggers a 4th ending.
- An Axe to Grind: The Player Character can find one in the second chapter. It's useful for cutting through a boarded up hole at the base, and for chopping enemies (though it takes a few swings).
- Bloody Handprint: One is found on a door window when the Player Character starts looking for his teammates.
- Another one is found on the floor of a storage room at the drilling site.
- Eerie Arctic Research Station: Antarctica 1.
- The End... Or Is It?: The ending cutscene shows the player character evacuating on a rescue helicopter, at the last second showing that one of the smaller creatures is hiding on the underside of the helicopter. However, nothing seems to come of this in any of the endings.
- Flower Mouth: The bigger monsters in the caves are basically Demogorgons, only their mouths have four flaps instead of five.
- Handgun: The Player Character finds one in the lab lobby.
- How We Got Here: The Prologue shows the Player Character escaping an underground room and fighting his way through an ice tunnel. Chapter two flashes back several hours to show what happened leading up to that.
- In-Universe Game Clock: The in-game time of day is based on the time of day given by your system's clock. If you play at night the game will take place at nighttime.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: It turns out Dr. Efimov is the one responsible for killing the majority of the Antarctica 1 base personnel, in order to stop them from sealing the entrance to the creatures' ecosystem. Efimov became obsessed with studying the creatures and came to believe he could eventually learn to communicate with them, killing his comrades when they tried to seal away the creatures. He's proven fatally wrong, as the creatures kill him at the end while he's busy explaining his motivations to his son.
- Kill It with Fire: A flamethrower is one of the weapons you acquire relatively early on, about one or two maps after you get the pistol. Sustained fire is quite effective against the creatures, and you can find a decent amount of fuel for it.
- Lost World: The cause of all the mayhem. While drilling for minerals the research team Dug Too Deep and penetrated into an ancient subterranean ecosystem beneath the Antarctic ice. The creatures inhabiting the ecosystem quickly proved extremely deadly and very hostile.
- P.O.V. Cam: You view the game through the Player Character's eyes.
- Multiple Endings: There's a good ending, a medium ending, a bad ending, and an extra ending depending on whether or not you blew up the entrance to the subterranean world and destroyed the research samples, and whether or not you found all the Apocalyptic Log notes. Blowing everything up gets you the good ending, blowing one thing up gets you the medium ending, and not blowing anything up (and thus allowing the creatures to spread) gets you the bad ending. Finding all the notes gets you the extra ending regardless of what else you did.
- Good Ending: With evidence of the creatures and the threat they pose, the U.N. votes to destroy Antarctica 1 with a nuclear strike, ensuring the destruction of the creatures. Efimov Jr. oversees the strike personally.
- Medium Ending: Without evidence of the creatures, Efimov Jr. is declared insane and locked in an asylum. The replacement research team sent to reopen the base is slaughtered within a week. Efimov Jr. blames himself for their deaths and commits suicide.
- Bad Ending: The creatures stow away aboard a nuclear icebreaker and slaughter the crew, ending up beaching on the coast of South America. An outbreak of the creatures is eventually contained by the U.S. military after a couple years of fighting, though this leaves 35 million people dead.
- Extra Ending: 8 years later, Efimov Jr. leads a second research team to return to Antarctica 1. The team establishes a permanent base there which is open to this day, implying they were better prepared and avoided re-opening an entrance to the creatures' ecosystem.
- Offing the Offspring: If you try to blow up the research samples, Dr. Efimov will show up to stop you and order you to turn back and leave, and will reluctantly shoot you if you persist in your attempt. The only way past him is to shoot him yourself.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: A shotgun is the first weapon you get in the game. It can put down smaller enemies with one point-blank shot.