The evil Doctor Drax is at it again. He has concocted an evil scheme to destroy the world’s ocean reefs by blowing them all up! Why, well rumour has it that he is sick and tired of finding anchovies on his favourite pizza and this is the only way he can ensure that it never happens again. But lucky for us, Diver Dougal is around to save the day in Chris Stanley’s first release for the Commodore 64, Exploding Fish.
You play Diver Dougal, who drops down into the deep waters with the objective to swim around, avoiding some angry sea creatures along the way, in an effort to collect all of the encryption keys scattered across the ocean floor so that you can open up the portal and diffuse the bomb. But you cannot take your sweet time admiring all the underwater fauna, the bomb is set to a timer and if the countdown elapses then BOOM!, it’s game over.
Exploding Fish features 10 challenging levels. Coming in contact with sea creatures will reduce your health, while at the same time you need to keep an eye out on your oxygen levels. Fortunately, on each level there are a number of collectables to find. Air cylinders and medipacks replenish air and health respectively. Occasionally, Dougal will come across an alien artifact that will result in a random mixed bag of about 15 different effects. But beware, not all artificacts are helpful. Some have adverse effects such as disorientation which makes Diver Dougal respond to the opposite direction to your control input.
Once you have completed all 10 levels, you will then reach Dr. Drax’s secret dock and this will be your chance to finish him off for good and ensure that everyone in the world has the right to walk around with stinky fish breath whenever they like.
Exploding Fish is a well polished game that provides good classic arcade style single screen game play. Pretty much everything about Exploding Fish screams out ‘8-Bit’. It’s graphic style would certainly fit in well with games from the 1984-85 era while Andrew Fisher provides the jolly and bouncy game music for you to enjoy while playing the game.
If you are looking for fast paced action then Exploding Fish is not the game for you. This is a game that requires some patience and timing and if you are ok with this style then I am sure you will enjoy Exploding Fish very much.
Exploding Fish is released by Megastyle and originally became available as a digital download in June from the Megastyle Itch.Io page. Megastyle is pleased to announce that a limited cassette edition will be available on 17 November 2018. Be sure to follow developer Chris Stanley’s twitter feed where he will be providing a link to the MegaStyle store front as soon as Exploding Fish orders open up.
To see Exploding Fish in action, refer to the video link below:
A very good first up effort by Chris Stanley that delivers some great old single screen arcade gaming with strong production values. Some will find the action slow but for others there is no denying that the game play on offer will bring back many great memories of when they first started their 8-Bit gaming experience.
Founder of RetroGamerNation youtube channel and regular contributor to Vintage Is The New Old and Retro Video Gamer blog sites. Passionate about the modern gaming scene for vintage personal computers and game consoles. Specialising in the Commodore 64 scene. If you would like your game or hardware reviewed, please get in touch with me via email.