I have a soft spot for ocean environments. Nautical themes are some of my favorites, and I’m always eager to try out games that DIVE into this aesthetic. So I was happy to give Tiny Sea Adventure by Pixel Shake Studio and Kongregate a try.
Right away, players are greeted by a beautifully simplistic underwater picture with adorable fish at the top and a cute little submarine that we’ll be taking control of. The object of Tiny Sea Adventure is to collect stars that pop up while avoiding the fish as they chase after you. If they bump into you, it’s game over. Every five stars you collect advances you to the next level, increasing the difficulty. Your only weapon against the fish is your quick reflexes, as getting them to bump into each other will clear them out for you.
The game is a great example of easy to learn, hard to master. At the end of your run, you’ll be rewarded coins based on how well you did which are put towards a special present. Unlocking the present rewards players with another character, and there are quite a few on offer, so getting everything requires players to be pretty skillful. The characters are all incredibly cute, and I found myself playing just to see what the next one would look like. If there’s a particular character you want, the game gives you the option to purchase them, but I think it’s more fun to just unlock the present and see what you get. I was fond of using the penguin.
While I do really enjoy the presentation and model of the game, my biggest complaint is probably in the controls. Your ship is controlled by using the bottom of the screen as a virtual joystick. I imagine this was done to increase the difficulty somewhat, but I found most peculiar about this is the tutorial makes it a point to say that the submarine does not follow the movement of your finger, and all I could think was that the game was essentially saying “The control scheme that you’re imagining would work really well for this game and would be better than the invisible control stick… we’re not doing that.”
The soundtrack is perfect for this type of game, with the music never getting repetitive or stale. I wish the overall controls felt a little bit more natural, but beyond that this game has a lot of great stuff that makes it easy to recommend. The great visuals, enjoyable music, unlockable content, and quick and addictive gameplay makes Tiny Sea Adventure a great title, even if I do wish the controls felt a bit better.