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Dave the Diver is a big beautiful blue gem

By - | Views: 18,895

I’ve been playing through a game called Dave the Diver released on 28 Jun, 2023 from developer MINTROCKET. It seems to have taken Steam by storm with over 36,000 user reviews (and quickly growing!) giving it an overwhelmingly positive rating. After picking up a copy for myself and playing it, I can see why people love it so much.

Steam Deck Verified with Proton 7, it works pretty much to perfection with multiple hours of play on a single charge - I would say around 3 hours without any tweaks. It’s the perfect game to just pick up and play and sink a few hours into. There’s simply no need to dive into the settings on this one, a true click and play experience for anyone at home or on the go.

It also works great on desktop Linux too no problems there at all. Works exactly as expected. My testing there was on Fedora KDE 38 and all good. Performance is great and it looks fantastic.

So what is it?

Dave the Diver is an odd one to describe. You are Dave, and you’re going to do a lot of swimming around catching fish and all sorts of sea creatures. It’s a bit of a rogue-lite, with each time you dive into what they call the Blue Hole being a different layout with different fishies and loot to find. You have to watch your oxygen level, your depth and keep an eye out for nasty fishies that want to take a bite out of you. 

You have a few different tools at your disposal to deal with the nasties though like your trusty harpoon, knives and shock sticks, a gun and more utilities you unlock as you progress though. There’s an upgrade system too, so you can keep making Dave just that little bit more useful.

I’ve been enjoying the carefully crafted progression system in this game, where you start off with basically nothing and it gradually sprinkles in more for you to do. It’s not just swimming around though, there’s also a sushi-bar restaurant mini-game where you’re gradually improving it and helping out delivering food and topping up peoples drinks. This is where you’ll actually make your money selling all your fish to then progress Dave as a character with the upgrades.

There’s a number of times it can feel like it gets a bit repetitive though, however, it doesn’t take long to start once again throwing a whole bunch of new stuff at you. The charm of the character interactions, the different missions types and the exploration just keeps Dave the Diver constantly shining and makes you just not want to put it down. The cut-scenes are delightful too, often quite comical as are the characters, it’s just such a real breath of fresh air in a big deep blue sea of games.

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Don’t be fooled by how shallow it feels at the start, because once you get a good few hours in there’s just so much to do that the initial repetitive loop fades away as you’re constantly doing various little jobs while swimming around from photography to mining, harpooning various types of fishies, opening chests, seahorse racing, there’s a collectible card game, lots of side-quests and it just keeps on throwing more at you. There’s even an underwater civilization! Dave the Diver has a little bit of everything. Seriously, you're never going to get bored with this one with the amount of content it is has it's pretty awesome.

Even the music is great, when swimming around it's the perfect match-up to keep you nice and relaxed after yet another fish got away or while you're being chased by sharks.

I’ve had such a wonderful time playing Dave the Diver, and I’m giving it a very firm recommendation for you to pick up too. A true shiny gem deserving a double thumbs-up from me. Easily one of the best more casual games I’ve played, heck it’s one of the best games this year by far. Potentially my game of the year.

Given how popular it is, I can easily imagine a lot of developers taking a look and getting some inspiration from it for their own games. 

You can buy Dave the Diver on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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7 comments

bisbyx Jul 17, 2023
I wanted a mindless diving game. The restaurant minigame had enough complexity (or at least perceived complexity in the moment) that it made me put it down, because I didn't want to think too hard. Haven't picked it back up yet, though I intend to eventually.
WMan22 Jul 17, 2023
Quoting: bisbyxI wanted a mindless diving game. The restaurant minigame had enough complexity (or at least perceived complexity in the moment) that it made me put it down, because I didn't want to think too hard. Haven't picked it back up yet, though I intend to eventually.

It's not that complex, but I can see how it would seem daunting, I suppose.
-Hire some NPCs to serve and cook for you faster. All you personally should be focused on is refilling the Wasabi during operating hours and pouring drinks, your staff will handle the rest, you only should be serving dishes yourself if you're already heading in that direction and it's on the way.
-Sort your dish menu by price, and leave it that way.
-Any time you have an excess of one type of fish, upgrade it.
-Special days for certain types of food will get you more cash, prep ahead of time in your diving expeditions.
-Do the side missions, they get you new dishes, among other things.

That's about as complex as it is at least where I am in the game, this game is wonderful in that it continues to slowly dripfeed more mechanics as the game goes along to the point where more than once I've been like "Wait, there's more? Nice." which I appreciate, so I don't know if more mechanics get added later.
Tchey Jul 17, 2023
I’ve been looking at this game for some time, but never played it. I don’t feel attracted at all by all the food part of the gameplay, but it seems to be a great game anyway.
Jarmer Jul 18, 2023
Quoting: bisbyxI wanted a mindless diving game. The restaurant minigame had enough complexity (or at least perceived complexity in the moment) that it made me put it down, because I didn't want to think too hard. Haven't picked it back up yet, though I intend to eventually.

Oh just wait, at some point the game also gives you an entire fish farm to manage as well! It's a whole different area and interface, etc... That kinda bummed me out as well. I really don't want that, but now I guess I have to manage it?

Also, I had NO IDEA I was wasting a ton of food each night by not selecting an amount of 1 for every single dish and then enabling "autofill" or whatever that option is. Very poorly explained. I could have made SO much more money, but oh well.
DriftMonkey Jul 18, 2023
There's a bug on Steam Deck - when docked you can't set the resolution higher than 1280x720, even if you set/force a resolution in the pre-game settings.
ssj17vegeta Jul 20, 2023
Amazing game so far, love it ! And works great on Ubuntu.

Stuff made with love !
ssj17vegeta Jul 20, 2023
Quoting: JarmerAlso, I had NO IDEA I was wasting a ton of food each night by not selecting an amount of 1 for every single dish and then enabling "autofill" or whatever that option is. Very poorly explained. I could have made SO much more money, but oh well.

Oh my god, thank you so much ! I had no idea too !
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