Back in July, I talked about an unassuming game that landed a spot on my list of favorite games of the year. With its simple premise, Mintrocket‘s Dave the Diver‘s increasingly more involved hour-by-hour gameplay caught me by surprise.
If there’s an illustrated definition of an “onion game”, Dave’s shenanigans would certainly be it. Anytime I started thinking that it was through introducing new mechanics, back it came with creative – and what’s most exciting – elements that made sense game-wise.
Now it’s the Switch’s turn to see what the fuss was all about on the PC, and aside from some longer load times, it’s exactly the same game, only now on a portable system for those without a Steam Deck or other similar devices.
As the titular Dave, you join your friend Cobra on his new business venture, a sushi restaurant on the shore of Blue Lagoon, a mysterious location that randomly changes each time you dive in, resulting in an absurd variety of sea life that you can catch and prepare dishes with.
Thanks to the talent of an admittedly unique individual in the form of Boncho, the chef at the other side of the counter, Cobra’s restaurant slowly grows at a steady pace, it increases the size of its menu, the number of concurrent clients it can serve, as well as the amount of work poor Dave has to do, in the form of new.
These come in all shapes and sizes, and most excitingly, as new activities you can partake during every in-game day. That happens every few hours and that pacing helps keep things fresh as you make your way through Dave the Diver‘s surprisingly engaging storyline.
I already gushed about the game in my original review, and everything that was great about it back then still is in this new release. I would only add that for those who don’t own any sort of portable PC device, they can now play the game at the palm of their hand with the Switch. It looks particularly sharp on its OLED screen.
The only noticeable issue with Dave the Diver now, in comparison to the PC version, though, as I mentioned before, are the load times. Every time a new screen has to be loaded in, the game takes a little longer than usual to get things ready. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s something that has to be brought up for those expecting a piece-to-piece straight up port here.
Dave the Diver is a paradox of sorts: for one, it’s got everything going for it to be called derivative and throwaway; then again, the game is far from merely being a sum of its parts, and truth be told, they are all extremely well put together and enjoyable. If you have a hankering for a game to play for a few minutes every now and then, look no further than this.