Dave the Diver

released on Oct 27, 2022

Welcome to 'Dave the Diver', a marine adventure set in the mysterious Blue Hole. Explore the sea with Dave by day, and run a sushi restaurant at night. Uncover the secrets of the Blue Hole, and unwrap this deep sea mystery involving 3 friends, each with distinct personalities. New adventures await.

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Played from – to: (2023-11-29 – 2023-12-08) – PC keyboard.
‣ 8.5/10 – Even credits are a mini-game.
‣ Thoughts: This was a game that just kept on giving. Almost every two or so hours Dave the Diver introduced a new way to do something or strive for. It was a great way to keep me engaged and excited to explore every nook and cranny. I had a lot of fun slowly building up my restaurant and expanding my business, but I do admit that at times this felt repetitive and exhausting.
I know it sounds crazy to call a game that keeps evolving its gameplay exhausting but I feel like that is a trick these developers pull on you to keep you grinding. This was a great game, but at times it felt like a mobile game where your objective is to do the same shit repeatedly to get a better score. The first 10 hours felt unique and great, but the longer I played the more repetitive and tiresome some of the dives became. The variety in fish and loot to gather is incredible, however at the end of my journey I found myself enjoying the quick but heavily rewarding bar section more than being in the ocean. For a game where you spend 80% being in the ocean this sounds like a huge L, but I think I pushed myself into this corner by treating every dive as a must: gathering as much as I can, never ignoring items for an objective and always spending as much time as I could. I did enjoy most of them to some extent, but the sluggish movement and awkward combat sections just reinforced my exhaustion and pushed me more towards skipping dives.
Besides the core gameplay that was truly creatively evolved throughout my playthrough I would like to gush about the art style and the soundtracks. They are both incredible and enhanced my entertainment tenfold. For a pixel art game, the developers have managed to create something so fluid and smooth I just can’t wrap my mind around how it is even possible. The cutscenes are creative, funny, and just never disappointing. Watching people ascend into godhood after tasting Bancho’s sushi was amazing and a treat. Lastly it is impressive how well the soundtracks are tuned to the locations you explore. Every song fits the atmosphere perfectly and they did a great job.
I think Dave the Diver is a very fun experience with loads of variety and fun gameplay iterations and it works together really well. I enjoyed my experience with this game, but I do think the longer you play, the more of that magic gets lost in the grind. So, I would recommend taking your time but not overstaying your welcome with this one.

Such a satisfying gameplay loop honestly! The sushi sections really scratch the Diner Dash itch and it’s always a little exciting seeing a new fish/shark when diving. It felt like every system the game introduced fed into the rest so nicely (diving —> sushi —> money —> upgrades) and between hiring waitstaff, the farm and fish tanks, you could even automate a lot of these tasks by late-game, which was satisfying when exploration became the most important thing.
Switch loading times are CRAZY, which was my biggest gripe with the game.

I enjoyed so much about this game! The loop from fishing to restaurant management was a time suck. The fishing controls were appropriately tricky to master and the restaurant brought the kind of adrenaline I haven't felt since playing Diner dash. Those two elements are only the start of all the content in this game, which is both blessing and curse.
The benefit of so much content is that the game is bursting with ways to express yourself as a player. Want to invest in farming? In restaurant staff? In minigames? All of it is here and so much more that would be a spoiler to discuss. On the other hand, there is so much content that I felt like I barely had a moment to breathe. I often wanted a button I could push that would push deadlines for special events back a couple of days, not because they weren't interesting, but because I wanted to chill with this game rather than rush.
The other negatives that I want to notice are more to do with the writing. Dave is an atypical protagonist as a fat, middle-aged man who is not macho. I loved that about this game from the start. However, the writers see him as a joke. At least, that's how it feels. Every character has to comment on his weight and emasculate him for being a relatively timid fat man. At first, I assumed that the side characters who mocked Dave would learn that they were wrong, and that this non-traditional game protagonist would be respected. This never happened. He was consistently the butt of the joke.
The other criticism of the writing that I personally have, is how the few female characters are written. I noticed that every woman are characterized as nagging or foolish, with perhaps the exception of the recruiter, who still has to learn a lesson. All major sympathetic characters are men.
After a dozen or so hours (I got to chapter 6), these flaws got to me, and I shelved the game for the time being. It's a fun and generous game, but I wish it was more generous with its women and with Dave himself.

Started this with a lot of interest, but quickly found DAVE THE DIVER to be a lot of style-over-substance. The gameplay loop is honestly pretty inconsequential, because the game keeps offering you plenty of opportunities to just NOT play it.
Why manage your sushi restaurant when you can just hire more chefs and waiters to do it for you? Why catch fish to stock up your kitchen when you're given a fish-farming option very early in the game? Why grind for upgrades when money is shoveled down your throat so quick and so early, that diving loses most of its danger?
And on top of all that, the game just feels very un-focused. Aside from being a rougelike-collectathon-management sim with 2D combat elements, you're always being introduced to some sub-mechanic or chore system that the titular David will take on with an annoyed attitude that quickly spread to me. Part of the reason I play video games is for escapism, so it's darkly comical how much time I spent on Dave's smartphone, pouring through apps and notifications, instead of my own.
Going back to the concept of Dave getting annoyed a lot - The unspoken premise of this game is: A meek but well meaning man walks away from a tropical vacation to work 2 separate full-time jobs for "friends" who really don't seek to like Dave, all while dozens of strangers pile favor after favor, request after request on Dave's plate. Go back to the island, Dave. You had it right the first time.

slaps roof of car This bad boy can fit so many game mechanics in it

Esse jogo tem muita interrupção com a história e fica inserindo novidades que nem agregam muito na gameplay. Achei isso muito chato. Pior que a história é muito longa. Se fosse só grind e cuidar do bar, com certeza iria gostar mais.