Game: Deep Diving Adventures
Genre: Adventure, Education, Simulation, Sports
System: Nintendo Switch
Price: EU €19,99|US $19.99|AUS $29.99|CA $27.29|UK £15.99
Age Rating: US E|UK 3+
Release Date: March 16, 2020
Review code used with many thanks to Jujubee
I don’t know about the rest of you, but if it were up to me I would be a mermaid. I practically lived in the aquarium as a child, adored the weightless feeling of swimming underwater, was obsessed with the Australian show Ocean Girl, and basically was happier underwater than on dry ground. Unfortunately, I remain a landlubber, so how well does Deep Diving Adventures address my love of exploring the watery depths?
What is it?
Professor Adams dressing for the occasion.
Deep Diving Adventures is a diving simulator/adventure game. You find yourself on a boat, where an Professor Adams quickly fills you in: He’s a treasure hunter who used to dive, but he’s not up to it anymore. He’s telling you what to look for, and you’re doing the grunt work. The missions revolve around both the mercenary (we’re collecting that pirate treasure! Aaargh!) and the environmental (removing debris and cleaning local wildlife).
Treasures. Treasures everywhere.
Of course, things can’t be too easy. You need to be ready to defend yourself from hazards, such as avoiding shark attacks, prickly wildlife, mines, running out of air, or (my greatest foe) face planting into the ocean floor.
What’s the game play like?
Am I swimming with the fishes? Yes, yes, I am.
You swim. That’s pretty much it. If you want to pretend you’re a diver hunting for treasure and saving the environment, then this game is an excellent fit. It took me a while to get a handle on the controls and get good at paddling myself around, but once I did I was hooked. It has a good introductory area, where you learn how to collect items, scan and clean your environment, and that you do NOT want to run out of oxygen. You level up by completing these tasks and eventually unlock the next stage.
How are the controls?
You can explore caves with this handy toy.
Very good. There’s a chart that tells you what most everything does. How much trouble you’ll have really just depends on how good you are at navigating in 3D environments. If you’re like me, you crash into stuff a lot, but I’ve been doing that pretty continuously since Mario 64, so no surprises here. Once I put some time in I got pretty decent at tooling around the ocean floor.
The one big snafu I had is that the game tells you when you can advance to the next stage, but not how to get there. It turns out that when you’re on the boat you hit the R button. Although I’m almost positive I tried that, it must not have registered the first time and I spent an unusual amount of time sorting out how to advance, feeling sure I missed an instruction.
There are a few buttons that change function depending on what you’re doing (R raises you towards the surface, unless you’re holding your gun. Then it’s the trigger button), but most everything else was explained well and there’s a handy chart to check if you forget something. I think it must’ve been bad luck that the R button didn’t register the first time I tried it and failed to advance to the next location, but a prompt would’ve been nice to at least know I was on the right track.
Any other issues?
This area could sure use a good scrubbing!
The load time for the game is unusually high. When you start the game it’s a black screen until the logo comes up. It takes a surprisingly long time for that to happen and I honestly thought my Switch had crashed the first few times. However, that was not the case and once it finishes it’s pretty good. There’s some environmental loading issues, where seaweed just sort of pops suddenly into existence in front of you, but it didn’t take away from game play for me. No issues with any items I had to collect or avoid.
This may be a problem for a small group of you, but I actually had a little trouble with motion sickness from the rocking of the video game boat. This is a tiny portion of the game, and it is almost certainly be due to the fact that I am prone to motion sickness in real life. I’ve never had this issue in a video game before, so thought it worth noting. Perhaps it’s because there’s some dialogue to read during that portion. Perhaps it’s because my eyes are aging along with the rest of me. Either way, I’ve gotten used to it and it’s no longer an issue.
Greetings my fellow water logged friend!
I found myself missing maps while playing this game. AvoCuddle spoiled me, I suppose. Deep Diving Adventures is mostly an aimless wandering sort of game, but the few times I did want to know where I was, I was left guessing.
Speaking of guessing, there are a few items and whatnot you need to find to get to the next stage. Sometimes accessing those items involves some puzzle solving. Perhaps I’m just a bad gamer, but if there are clues to resolving these sections, I haven’t found them. I just try stuff randomly until it works. Not the most efficient way to progress.
How are the graphics?
That’s some tall kelp!
I like them! Not amazing, but not bad at all. You get to explore a variety of watery areas, including wrecks, kelp forests, ancient ruins, caves, and reef areas. This game is definitely scratching my desire to explore under the sea itch, and the graphics are good enough that I sometimes could’ve sworn I felt water up my nose, or the pressure of a diving mask. I got really involved!
What else shines?
Explore sunken wrecks!
The music is good. Very relaxing and appropriate for the environments. It can be a bit repetitive, but I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t mind.
The game has a few very helpful settings. You can choose to play with limited or no hazards. This is great, because other than the hazards, this is a wonderful game for playing with the TV on. I enjoyed a Disney Sing-Along and many hours of the TV show psych while playing this game, and it was time well spent. The one drawback is that avoiding sharks is reliant on hearing the music change to the danger theme. If you’re singing Disney at the top of your lungs, you’re going to get bitten by a lot of sharks unless you set the hazards to static, or off. If you turn them completely off, you don’t even have to worry about running out of oxygen!
There’s also a spectator mode where you just swim around exploring the environment without interacting with anything. This is the ultimate chill gaming mode.
That shark is a troublemaker.
The game relies primarily on musical cues to know when sharks are going to attack. Turning off the all hazards setting makes this game more accessible for anyone who has issues with their hearing, but may be considered diminished game play by some. If you happen to scan when the shark that will attack you is around, it will show up as red, but musical cues definitely are the main way of avoiding this hazard if you’re playing in all hazard mode.
If you like to hunt shiny objects, this is a good game for you.
I’ve put quite a lot of hours into this game, and I intend to put in quite a few more. It’s a chill game that can be made even more soothing depending on the settings you chose. There are a few items to find and doors to open that seem to involve more guesswork than skill, so if that sort of thing bothers you, keep it in mind. By and large, it’s a lot of aimless wandering under the sea, collecting shells, hunting treasure, and cleaning the environment. When you accomplish enough of these goals, you can point your boat to the next location and do it again. I’m finding it the perfect game to accompany my quarantine TV binges.
Final Verdict: I like it a lot!
Thanks for the review CJBogart. I never heard of this game but now I’m definitely interested in it. I was a scuba diver and I like everything related to sea and particularly underwater. I won’t play it now because I have to much games to play right now but it goes directly in my wishlist.
You were a scuba diver? Very cool! I’ve always wanted to try, but it’s pretty expensive here.
Glad you liked the review!
It said at the start i could change controls buttons, but i cant figure out how 🙁 really want swim up and down to be on x and b. They are as secondary but it doesnt work. Sometimes i wish there werent extra l and r buttons
Hello! Give me a little while and I’ll check that part of the game to see how it’s done. I know there is a menu somewhere for it. Unless they changed it in an update, but taking features away isn’t normal.
Ok I booted it up to see what was going on (I hadn’t checked this title out in a while.) You can’t change the controls in this game. So I looked at my review to see what was going on. I think it was misread: some of the buttons change function depending on what you’re doing. So a button that does one thing while you’re just swimming does something else when you’re holding a weapon. It’s automatic. Does that make sense?
Hello! I just saw the game on the Eshop while looking for sports/adventure games and found Deep Diving Adventures. I am still interested in this game and now even more since reading the review! I adore Subnautica, but get motion sickness semi easily and can only play it on a bigger screen so that would be the only concern for this game too. Thank you though for the review, it’s definitely helped!
Also- does Ladies Gamers have a Discord server to join? That would be super rad 😀