diver dave commented
need to know
what is it? Spearfishing and Restaurant Management Adventures
estimated payment: $20.00 / £16.99
Comment time:: RTX 2080, Intel i7-9700K, 16GB RAM
multiplayer game? No
How it started: Oh, this looks like a cute, simple fishing and restaurant management little game. I bet it will look great on my Steam Deck.
How it went: Oh, and this is easily the best game of 2023. I usually play until 2am, and even after 30 hours it still throws fun and creative new systems at me, delighting, amazed and totally enthralled every time I play.
and, yes, it yes Works great on my Steam Deck.
In Diver Dave, a 2D pixel adventure game, you can spearfish fish in a colorful ocean while using the fish you catch in the sushi restaurant you manage. It starts off simple: every morning and afternoon you swim in your scuba gear, keep an eye on your oxygen supply, harpoon fish and reel them in, and collect crafting resources and other ingredients, such as seaweed, from coral reefs. Diving is a joy, mostly a chilling and soothing experience, with colorful fish jumping around and kelp swaying gently in the current – though that relaxed vibe can suddenly turn into frenzied panic when sawtooth sharks try to slice you in half or pelican eels try to escape you to the surface with your precious catch.
At night, you prepare a menu for Bancho, the mysterious sushi chef who creates the meals, while you serve a crowd of customers in a frantic Diner Dash-style mini-game. You can use your earnings to redecorate restaurants and upgrade your dive gear, and as your restaurant grows in popularity on social media, you can have Bancho research new recipes that will require new ingredients, giving you new goals for your dives the next day. The fishing and restaurant parts of the game work perfectly together, but things don’t stay simple for long.
(Image source: Mintrocket)
Almost every time I sit down to play Diver Dave, it throws a new feature or event at me. Night fishing opens up the quest for new species, making once-comfortable seas eerie, while new gear like tranquilizers and submersibles give you new ways to fish. A staff management system for restaurants lets you hire and train staff to help, increasing the number of customers you can serve and the speed of service.
There’s a farm that raises fish so you don’t have to rely entirely on your daily dives, a farm that grows rice and vegetables for new recipes, and eventually there’s even an underwater farm to grow different types of seaweed. Once you get used to a system, the game adds a new system on top of it. Diver Dave’s day-to-day life is comfortable, but it’s constantly growing and incorporating new parts and components.
A strange lady comes to me on a raft and convinces me to take revenge on a great white shark by entering a mysterious underwater vortex.
These are just some of the features of the fishing and sushi parts of the game – there are Way Even more noteworthy is Diver Dave, which is full of fun little surprises during the 35 hours I spent working through the main storyline. I’ve often set off to fish for a day and end up in a place I never thought I’d be, like when I follow a cat through the woods with astonishing stealth, or when I’m pulled to solve a complex switch-and-mirror puzzle in an ancient underwater temple.
(Image source: Mintrocket)
A normal evening at the restaurant was turned upside down when another chef challenged Bancho to a cooking competition and I needed to spend days gathering specific ingredients – the most exciting part was that I actually had to cook I A whole new series of fast-paced mini-games changes. Then one day a strange lady came to me on a raft and convinced me to go into a mysterious underwater vortex to exact revenge on a great white shark.
That’s the beauty of Diver Dave: You can sit back and do an easy day of diving and have absolutely no idea where you’re going to end up. You might suddenly get caught up in a speedboat chase scene, or find yourself filming evidence of an undersea society, or engage in an unexpected boss fight with an angry jellyfish the size of a bus. You even sometimes control characters other than Dave, and in one fantastic sequence, you control both Dave and another character, briefly turning it into a co-op (but still solo) puzzle adventure.
I’m also amazed at how often Diver Dave can come up with a fun little idea like racing a seahorse and extract every ounce of potential out of it. Because you don’t just race seahorses, you can collect different species and classes of seahorses, add them to your roster, and even use them together in relay races… So what started out as a cute little button game turns into Seahorse Racing Manager 2023.
(Image source: Mintrocket)
nothing but internet
Tying it all together is the stunning pixel art, with around 200 beautifully detailed animated sea creatures, and tiny characters that manage to be expressive whether they’re filling the screen during cutscenes or just writhing on the monitor.
It’s very charming and has a great vibe.
I’m not sure I can describe Diver Dave as truly “healthy” because I did spend a fair amount of time killing sharks and squid with depth charges, grenade launchers, and katanas. Also, one of the characters you meet is a pillow-loving weapons fanatic (it’s from him that I got the grenade launcher). But it sure is charming and full of great vibes.
When I finished the final boss in 35 hours, I felt like I had been on a real adventure, and the ending tugged gently but sincerely at my heartstrings. Of course, I’m not done with the game yet: even the credits give you a great new game to learn and play, and you can keep diving and serving sushi even after the main quest is complete.
Dave the Diver is a real treat, the biggest surprise of 2023 and my favorite game of the year so far.
Diver Dave: Price Comparison
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