Dave the Diver is a charming indie game developed by a South Korean company named Mintrocket.  It has been in early access since October 2022.  But the full version has released on June 28th, 2023.  I had my eye on this little gem and wanted to wait until it’s full release.  Now it’s here and I’m ready to share my review with you all.

A New Adventure

Dave is an older man with a deep love for the sea.  He suddenly receives a call from a man named Cobra inviting him down to help him and a friend with a little project.  Dave arrives at the Blue Hole and discovers Cobra has roped him into helping a blossoming sushi restaurant.  Dave meets Bancho, a stoic chef with a passion for creating the very best sushi he can.  Every day, Dave’s job to dive for fresh ingredients for the restaurant.  At night, he helps Bancho serve the customers and grow a social media presence.  It was not what Dave expected but he was more than happy to help his friends. Diving and eating delicious sushi? Yes, please!

Divin’ Time

The Blue Hole is a vast and mysterious place.  Every day the fauna and geography change.  It’s a beautiful area that brings in a lot of tourists and colorful characters.  Every day, the players will find that nothing stays the same.  Each day is a new maze and there are new fish to catch. 

Dave’s oxygen will slowly decrease by the second, so you must make haste and catch as much fish as you can and gather items and ingredients.  There’s also a weight limit, so Dave can only carry so many items.  If you exceed the weight limit, Dave’s oxygen will run out faster.  Dave can only dive twice a day before he must go to the sushi shop to work.

RELATED  Blizzard Considering Drastically Increasing Overwatch 2 Skin Prices

As the days go by, Dave will meet a lot of interesting new characters out in their boats.  Some will have tasks for him to complete when he goes diving.  For example, an archaeologist is interested in the Blue Hole because he believes it could’ve been a home to an ancient civilization of fish people! So sometimes, he’ll task Dave to retrieve certain items for him to investigate.  How fun!

Bancho’s Sushi is Now Open!

Like I mentioned previously, Dave can only dive twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. When evening rolls around, it’s time for Dave to get ready for the restaurant’s opening. Before you open the restaurant, you have to choose what to put on the menu. You can choose what to serve from the batch of fish you caught that day. Once you’re ready to go, you can open the restaurant.

The fun doesn’t stop there. Dave is tasked to pour drinks and take the orders that Bancho prepares out to the customers. Naturally, not everyone is going to be very patient, (I mean, I’d want my sushi right away, too) so Dave has to hurry and get the hungry customers their meals. As the restaurant gets more popular, you will need to hire staff to keep up with the tides of people. The restaurant simulator part of the game will get more and more hectic as you progress through the game.

As the restaurant grows more popular, you’ll have the opportunity to increase the quality of your food and even help Bancho create brand new recipes. When you catch multiples of the same fish, you’re able to increase their quality, resulting in more customer satisfaction and more money. If you do well in getting everyone their orders on time, Bancho can gain points that you can spend on developing new recipes. Every time you unlock a new dish, you’ll be treated to an entertaining cutscene of Bancho and his creative process.

RELATED  NBA 2K24 Player Overall Ratings - Los Angeles Clippers

Memorable People and Memorable Experiences

As the days pass by, Dave will encounter new people who arrive at Bancho sushi with specific requests and their own stories to tell.  It is Dave’s job to gather the necessary ingredients to make the perfect dish for each VIP client.  Sometimes this may require you to upgrade Dave’s gear and weapons. 

After preparing the customer’s special orders, the game give us a charming little cutscene of their reactions to the meal.  After Bancho blows their minds away with the best sushi experience of their lives, you unlock special menu options and items to use in the restaurant, increasing the difficulty, complexity, and satisfaction of this part of the game.  It really motivates players to keep going to see just who they might meet next and what special dish they’ll cook up.

Diving Deeper and Deeper

Dave The Diver will face many challenges. Including what's floating in the background.

OH. HELL. NO.

As the days go on and as you help Dave explore the Blue Hole for some more fish for the restaurant, you’ll slowly start to gain access to more regions of the area.  Some offer new areas to explore and new fish to find and catch, as well as new ingredients and artifacts to examine.  But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.  The Blue Hole is also home to some deadly and massive creatures. Creatures that wouldn’t mind having Dave for lunch.  That’s right, there are actual boss fights in this game. 

As you completely more quests for people, you will find certain sea creatures coming your way and you must help Dave survive and push forward.  I got to tell you, for a light-hearted game, this really messes with my fear of the ocean.  One moment I’m smiling and having a good old time bantering with Cobra and then next I have some razor-sharp teeth ready to take my face off. Why do you got to do this to me game?

RELATED  Among Us: What to Expect in 2023

Will Dave the Diver be Ported?

The developer Mintrocket confirmed in the official launch trailer that Dave the Diver is coming to the Nintendo Switch at some point in 2023.  No official date has been confirmed yet, however.  There is no confirmation on whether the game will be released on the PlayStation or Xbox.  So, for now, it is exclusive for only PC and Nintendo Switch.

Final Thoughts

I was more than surprised with my experience with this indie gem.  From surface level, the story and game mechanics seem simple, but underneath it all lies a complex yet relaxing experience.  It’s easily made it to my personal list of favorite indie games of 2023.  I can’t recommend this enough.  Even if this particular game isn’t your style, I fully believe that everyone should give it a chance.  It definitely deserves the time and money in my opinion.

Dave the Diver is available now for the PC.

THE GOOD
Beautiful pixelated art
Fun gameplay
Great and heartfelt story
Great soundtrack
Memorable characters
THE BAD
10
Essential

Review Summary

Mintrocket has blown us away with their heartfelt indie game: Dave the Diver.

Leave a comment