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Water levels have become the staple of video games, much to the chagrin of those who play them. Developers seem to enjoy utilizing them as an ego brushing device; being the most efficient way of showing off their cutting edge physics engine and impressive graphics.

Conceptually, the water level is sound. As human beings we are inherently afraid of the unknown, and what better a way to explore this idea than in the vast, unforgiving depths of Poseidon’s dominion. Gigantic sea monsters, strange natural phenomena and mysterious relics hidden under the surface, are pervasive throughout our collective culture; and can translate well to video games.

Unfortunately, the number of genuinely fun or effective water sections can be counted on one hand. For every Treasure Trove Cove there’s five Atlanticas.  The water section in Amnesia is one of the most frightening experiences in gaming, as is Earthworm Jim’s ‘Down the Tubes’ (but for completely the wrong reasons).

Which leads us to: gaming’s ten most terribly infuriating water levels. With this list I tried to mix it up a little, instead of just reiterating the usual suspects. But yes, the Water Temple is on this list.

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This article was first posted on February 25, 2013