Nowadays, a few games like Dave the Diver give you that sense of adventure and discovery. As soon as the game begins, our lovable protagonist gets sent to a new location to submerge himself into a chaotic adventure. The feeling of discovery is present from the moment you see the credits on the plane to the final part of this fantastic title. Developed by Mintrocket, Dave the Diver is a love letter for games and gamers that delivers a fun story with new gameplay at every turn. We’ll discuss why we love it in our Dave the Diver review we’ve prepared today.
Dave the Diver Review – A Breath of Fresh Air
Story – Once More Into the Big Blue Hole
We’ll focus on the story for the first part of our Dave the Diver review. The plot puts us in the swimming suit of Dave, yes, the diver. It starts as your average “come out of retirement” story that keeps improving as you progress. With one of the most lovable openings ever, Dave meets Cobra, who convinces Dave to dive once more and manage a sushi restaurant. Yes, you read that right; it isn’t only diving but also managing a restaurant. In this place, you’ll meet one of the best, if not the best, chefs called Bancho, the chef in charge of this place and preparing the food. These three characters are the ones that kick off a series of events that set things in motion for the story.
While the abovementioned three are the key characters initially, the game doesn’t take long to introduce you to others. We have Dr. Bacon, another character that gives Dave some crazy tasks, and even Sato, who is an apparent reference to one of the biggest game franchises in the world. Every character is there to expand upon the game’s setting, and everyone has a personality that shines every time we see them on screen. And we haven’t talked about Duff yet, the best weapon dealer on this side of town.
But it isn’t all fun and diving for fish. The story of Dave the Diver has many mysteries that keep popping the more you dive (no pun intended) into the game. An ancient civilization is discovered after Dave gets convinced or, instead, forced to do so. Part of the charm of this game is Dave. A character who wants nothing to do with many of the things happening around him but gets thrown into the mix nonetheless. It is a great protagonist who becomes even more lovable as you advance through the game.
Gameplay – A Plethora of Mechanics
This might be a hit or miss for many people (the former for us), but this game has many mechanics and features. You have rogue-like elements, a restaurant-management mechanic, farming, and more. The game throws many things at you that, while not difficult, might be challenging for some players to keep up the pace. This title is a single-player adventure RPG, but if you look deeper, there’s much more to it.
Dave the Diver’s gameplay features mini-games for almost everything you do. Want to capture a fish with a poisoned harpoon? Get ready to spin that mouse. Need to clean tables fast? Start clicking those buttons. A mini-game accompanies every part of the game, and all are done wonderfully or at least feel organic. Yes, they don’t hold the difficulty of other puzzle-focused games, but they are fantastic nonetheless.
Exploring and combat might be suitable for some and bad for others. For us, it was great, as the gameplay of Dave the Diver was one of the highlights of our review. We love gameplay loops that give you several things to do, and this game manages to provide you with that. You have different times of the day when you can do certain things. During the morning and afternoon, you get to dive. The fish you catch are essential for the restaurant as they are the ingredients. If you don’t catch too much, say goodbye to your profit. In turn, you find weapons that you can unlock permanently later. There are plenty of resources to find, photos to take, and even fish eggs to get for your farm.
The game is a love letter for many other titles out there. There’s a card collecting game. Action-packed chase sequences are comparable to other action games. You can even get a farm mechanic, which is excellent for those who love games like Stardew Valley. In short, this game has features for every player, and you won’t ever feel bored. When you think the game has shown you everything, think twice because there’s bound to be more.
Graphics & Audio – Simple Yet Memorable
The game shows heart as soon as you fire it up. The games excellent pixel art transforms and does wonders when it shows cinematic sequences. Watching Bancho upgrade dishes or discovering new recipes is a treat. Duff’s weapon upgrades are accompanied by anime songs that make this character even better. Even the villains shine in fantastic ways due to this unique and memorable art style. If that wasn’t enough, the graphics, despite their simplicity, make every environment details and creatures easy to find and remember.
Every fish is easy to distinguish, thanks to the high quality that the artists put into the models of these creatures. The biomes or regions, as the game calls them, feature unique styles that aren’t forgettable. Even the weapons and charms hold a beautiful style; grabbing any of them feels like collecting a treasure. The team behind the art of this game deserves an award because they’ve made something memorable that doesn’t need to be 4K or photorealistic, and it is something we appreciate.
The music is a treat. Similar to the gameplay and story of Dave the Diver, there is a combination of different styles throughout this game. Every track fits your situation perfectly and helps get you even more pumped when playing. Managing the restaurant can get hectic, but the background music makes it more fun and keeps you on your toes. Certain boss fights have some fantastic tracks that raise the already high bar this game has set. As we mentioned, this game is a love letter, and doing our Dave the Diver review was a blast, thanks to everything this game has.
Conclusion – A Game With Deep Mechanics
Puns aside, our Dave the Diver review period was fantastic due to its in-depth features, engaging story, and lovable characters. The game might feel too fast for some as it has so many mechanics that it might be hard to keep track of every single one. Yet, those who don’t mind this will spend hours in this title trying to catch every fish and cook every dish. Its story gets even deeper the more you progress through it, and every character is memorable as soon as you meet them. There might be a lack of challenge for some people, but don’t let that discourage you; it still has a skill ceiling you need to reach. In a world full of live service games and unfinished titles, Mintrocket has given us a game as vast as the Big Blue Hole featured in this title.
Dave the Diver is available now on PC through Steam.