«

»

Deep Diving Adventures review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Jujubee
Developer: Jujubee
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

I was a little wary of Deep Diving Adventures going into it. After all, water levels don’t exactly have the best of reputations, and this is a game that’s nothing but water levels. You can see why I might have had some trepidation before I started.

Turns out, my concerns were a little overblown. Sure, there are a few issues (which I’ll get to in a moment), but the game generally works pretty well. It’s mostly an exploration game, where you’re given an undersea environment and you have to discover all kinds of objects, ranging from seashells to remnants of lost civilizations, but there’s also an educational aspect, as the game understandably focuses on teaching players about sea life and the oceans themselves. It balances the two sides fairly well, never going too hard in one direction or the other.

Consequently, there’s some good exploration to be had in Deep Diving Adventures. Armed with a flashlight, a knife, and a gun that heals some things and shoots lasers at others, you get to look around a nice mix of environments, ranging from shallow waters all the way to sunken rooms containing treasure. You also get to interact with all kinds of sea life, which is mostly relaxing, except when you suddenly have an aggressive shark swimming right at you.

As I said, though, there are some issues. The performance isn’t phenomenal: it’s pretty common to see items pop in around you — sometimes small things like little fish, but sometimes bigger things too, like rocks. It makes it difficult to get a proper sense of the area you’re exploring.

Likewise, invisible walls are a thing in Deep Diving Adventures, and they really hurt the immersion. I get that the game didn’t want to go all open-world when we’re talking about an ocean, but given that the game has no problem early on with using rocks as a limit on where you can go, it feels like they should have looked for some way to keep doing that. Using shimmering rainbow-coloured walls to mark the edge of the explorable area just seemed like an odd choice.

The game also features some weird tonal shifts. While the game is mostly focused on exploration and education, every so often you have to fight off sharks and other predators. It feels totally out of place with the rest of the game, watching it veer from “Save biodiversity” to “Zap that shark!” and back again. I understand that the developers probably wanted to gamify sea exploration, but that doesn’t make it any less odd.

I wouldn’t say any of those flaws ruin Deep Diving Adventures, though. They may detract a little from the overall experience, but, at the same time, that overall experience is different enough from most other games out there that it still feels pretty unique. As long as you don’t go in expecting something flawless, if nothing else you’ll come away with a whole new appreciation for water levels.

Jujubee provided us with a Deep Diving Adventures Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B