Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Secondhand Dave the Diver

While I haven’t played Dave the Diver myself, I have watched my wife play through the game. Which is how it works in our home, really. I focus on tabletop and she focuses on video games. And from an outsider’s viewpoint, Dave the Diver is a pearl of a game (rimshot)

In Dave the Diver, you take on the role of the eponymous diver, a pudgy guy whose chief characteristic is just how sweet he is. Seriously, Dave is prepared to help out anyone and everyone.

After a magical spot of the ocean where fish from every biome spawn is found, Dave is cajoled in to catch fish for a sushi restaurant. A restaurant that he then has to run. The main beats of the game are beautiful dives to hunt for fish and a restaurant management simulator. Along the way, Dave also discovers lost civilizations, uncovers corporate conspiracies and battle legendary monsters. Also, he plays a bunch of mini-games.

Oh, and it’s look is a love letter to retro gaming.

And the amazing thing about Dave the Diver is that it pulls it off. The wacky hodgepodge of gameplay mechanics interlock and compliment each other. I think the story is fun, engaging and occasionally touching. And Dave is the kind of lovable hero you either want to be or want to know.

It’s certainly not flawless. The controls can be clunky, to judge by the complaints I’ve heard. And some of the mini-games seem a little forced. Like bolting on one more thing into the kitchen range.

But, at the end of the day, Dave the Diver just radiates cheerful, silly fun. It is an escapist journey into a world of sushi and adventure.

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