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    jp's Steeldiver (3DS)

    [October 23, 2014 07:34:02 PM]
    I can't really complain too much about this given how much I paid ($2 if I recall). So, in my mind I was playing an iOS app game rather than a handheld console launch title. The mental context matters because it sets expectations and mine were low (given my recollection of bad reviews) and not that invested (didn't cost a lot so if it's terrible, no big loss).

    I guess the game's big draw is probably how it uses the gyroscope. You can hold the 3DS up and turn around as you would if you were looking through a real periscope. I guess that's neat - except for the fact that I was playing this on the bus. So, didn't get to try that out (and I imagine it would get tiring quite fast).

    Steeldiver is basically 3 games in one (they're even separated in the menus almost like this was a 3-in-1 cartridge). The second is a timed periscope shooter. Do as best you can. The third was perhaps the most interesting to me - it's a hex-based strategy game (protect your ships, try to sink your opponent's). And the first is probably the "meat" - you have missions, three different subs to choose from and you must direct a sub from the left of an area to the right by diving, firing torpedoes, etc.

    I was initially intrigued by the strategy game until I realized that it is quite a bit more limited than it seems. This is mostly from the fact that you only get one action per turn so many of the activities devolve into tit-for-tat. I located a group of ships and then I'm stuck. The ships try to sink me (1/3 chance of them doing damage), I try to sink ships (via the periscope shooter interface of the 2nd game). If I try to sink ships then they will try to sink me back, etc. It got a bit tiring because my hands felt tied (in a bad way). I'm guessing that having two actions per turn might make a difference and, presumably, makes more sense with the fiction: sub silently locates a convoy and then tries to sink a ship! (two actions) The idea that you would locate a ship and then sit there hoping to not take damage (finding a ship reveals your location) seemed a bit dissonant.

    The first game (drive the sub to the exit) does have some interesting aspects as well. I appreciated the slower and more careful pace - it's not an action game in that reflexes matter. Here you're carefully building up momentum, trying to accelerate and decelerate and the right time, and so on. So, more like driving a ship than a car (which is a good thing in this context). I also enjoyed how the console (lower screen) would spring leaks if the sub takes damage (forcing you to tap to plug the leak).
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    jp's Steeldiver (3DS)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Monday 13 October, 2014

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 23 October, 2014

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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