Dave the Diver is out on Nintendo Swap, which is an excellent factor for Nintendo followers, as a result of it’s among the finest roguelikes in current reminiscence. It got here out in early entry final October on Steam (virtually a 12 months to the day) and shortly turned a agency favorite on Steam Deck. It actually did in my home, anyway.
Discover an unlimited underwater world stuffed with unusual fish and handily discarded O2 cannisters which can be inexplicably full. | Picture credit score: Mintrocket
It’s a recreation of two interconnected elements: the titular diving half, by which Dave dons a scuba swimsuit and explores a semi-randomly generated ocean so as to catch fish, collect assets, and discover quest objects, and the restaurant sim half, by which Dave performs waiter in a shorefront sushi restaurant the place his morning’s bounty is served up recent on daily basis for its subtle clientele.
The life sim elements are surprisingly, er, “in depth”. Sorry. | Picture credit score: Mintrocket
Alongside the best way, you’ll encounter NPCs who enlist your assist with their ocean analysis initiatives, which is price doing for further money, however this additionally takes you thru a superb important quest that entails the examine of an historical sea individuals and the remnants of their civilisation which can be strewn across the ocean flooring. By itself, the motion journey portion of this recreation can be price enjoying, as it could the surprisingly in-depth restaurant sim. The truth that they work in tandem right here to maintain all of the completely different bits of your mind lit up is its genius.
It’s one of the best type of Indie recreation, in that it’s a properly polished expertise that does loads with little or no and finally ends up being rather more than the sum of its elements. By a mix of hanging pixel artwork, very good (and genuinely humorous) writing, memorable characters, developer Mintrocket elevates a dependably moreish roguelike setup into one thing actually particular. It doesn’t ever really feel like a merchandising machine, neither is it mild on compelling causes to proceed: which, to my thoughts, makes it miles higher than the overwhelming majority of video games on this style. Each time a preferred new roguelike (rogue-ish?) comes alongside, somebody all the time insists that this, lastly, is the one to win over individuals who have bounced off the style earlier than. Effectively, that is my a type of. My Hades. My Binding of Isaac. Besides it is nothing like these, it is simply too darn good.
The restaurant administration could possibly be a whole recreation in itself, however there's a lot extra right here. | Picture credit score: Mintrocket
And it’s an ideal match for the Nintendo Swap, as a result of as any Steam Deck gamers can attest, Dave the Diver works splendidly as a handheld recreation (and it’s about as technically subtle as a snorkel, so the Swap shouldn’t have any points working it properly). I’ve been swapping between the Deck and my desktop with it, by way of magic of cloud saves, for months now, and it’s a type of uncommon titles that feels completely suited to massive or small screens, by no means feeling compromised whether or not scaled upwards or downwards. Probably the most Switchy video games that ever Switched, then.
Uncover unique marine life and homicide it for incremental revenue. | Picture credit score: Mintrocket
On this bountiful 12 months of fantastic video games coming at us from all sectors, it takes one thing actually particular from the Indie facet of issues to chop by. Dave the Diver can be a vastly standout recreation in some other 12 months. It’s a sensation for a purpose, and the extra individuals who get to expertise it the higher.
In case it’s not clear, I actually actually find it irresistible. Working example, I put it on for 5 minutes to seize some screenshots and ended up getting sucked into it for like, an hour. Do not inform Dom.
Dave the Diver is out now on Steam and Nintendo eShop.