Like a beautiful and unusual fish that has suddenly risen to the surface, Dave the Diver is an unexpected surprise. Combining two core systems that work together, this is a game that excels as both an exploration experience and a management sim, and does so in ways that are intuitive and easy to understand. However, the real triumph lies in the focus on innovation at every turn, with an almost constant supply of sudden twists, activities, and ways to engage with the game, resulting in an enjoyable and approachable adventure that’s hard to put down. Is.
Dave is a scuba diver who is called to a strange blue hole in the ocean filled with all kinds of marine life. He’s there to help acquire seafood for a local sushi restaurant and its eccentric but expert chef, and he’s soon drawn into managing the business to a depth equal to his marine explorations. As the underwater probes move from the surface, new fantasy elements enter the equation, from sea people to prehistoric creatures, keeping players guessing on both the story and gameplay fronts.
The underwater dives are simple yet gorgeous, taking advantage of a pixel-art aesthetic to present a considerable diversity of undersea life and an ever-changing landscape of reefs, trenches and tunnels. With guns, harpoons, nets, and more, Dave must snatch the tastiest morsels to bring back to the restaurant while manning his air tank, avoiding hostile species, and gathering extra supplies. Simple aiming and shooting is enjoyable, and the gradual upgrade of equipment provides a rewarding sense of progress. But the discovery of new sights and places adds to the joy.
Back above the water, Dave is coaxed into performing duties behind the sushi counter among quirky characters, many of whom drive home the point that people are often much more and better than they first appear. There are Setting menu items, hiring and training staff, and pouring drinks give way to more activities, such as running a farm and fish hatchery, competing in reality food contests, and protecting ancient relics from pirate boats. Escape – Most components with an attached mini-game or interactive.
The constant layering of these small but rewarding systems turns Dave the Diver into something extraordinary. The shift back and forth between diving action and sushi restaurant management is fascinating, but it can get old if there isn’t a constant influx of other new ideas to keep things fresh. Photographing wildlife, fending off invasive fish species, creating new weapons, cataloging discovered creatures – everything works together to propel the adventure forward, while remaining forgiving enough in complexity that a player Never feels overwhelmed.
Dave is a charming protagonist, friendly and naive but capable, kind and eager to help his friends. As the story gets more bizarre, the bosses get bigger and more unbelievable, and the story gets more silly, the grounded and likable lead makes me smile. Some late-stage activities, including some cryptic and light beam puzzles, aren’t entirely successful, but by that point, the investment is greater, and it’s easier to advance to the end.
You may question whether a sushi restaurant management sim crossed with underwater diving is right for you, but that would be missing the point. Dave the Diver is a unique and memorable vacation that defies expectations, and it’s the fact that you don’t usually play games like this that makes it so satisfying.