Playing with Reed: Dave the Diver - Fishing Game Done Right!

Dave the Diver Official Launch Trailer

There are a surfeit of games that either have a fishing mechanic or are entirely based around fishing. I remember watching Markiplier play a horror fishing game where you pull some truly awful stuff out of a lake (Earl's Day Off, video linked here. He also played one called A Wonderful Day for Fishing (In his 3 Scary Games #10). Dredge has also been out for a while, and I've reviewed it here. All of these games end up being somewhat intense on the horror factor, which is what makes them good games. 

Final Fantasy XIV has a fishing mechanic (and hoooo boy, I don't envy those people going for the achievement for catching all the fish in the game). Even Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has a brief flirt with fishing where you can gain some interesting rewards. Why do I bring this up? Because typically, I don't like fishing games. I've never been fishing in real life, and it would take a seriously good fishing game to catch my attention, like Dredge. 

Dave the Diver is not a horror game. It's a very cozy fishing/restaurant management sim, but even that doesn't begin to describe all of the cool features in the game. Honestly, I'm only into Chapter 3 of the game, and I'm loving every little bit they introduce as I go along. The game has got fisheries, a farm, and a restaurant, where you serve sushi to the demanding guests. You have special patrons that require extra special dishes and you can hire people to help you. 

To popularize the restaurant, you rely on a picture application called Cooksta, where as you gain followers and new recipes, you also gain levels with various benefits. 

And there are mermaids. 

The cast of characters are really, really cool. You have your anime loving gun smith, your collector of fish trading cards, an ecologist who is in it for points on an app, and a person obsessed with the Sea People and their history. 

The menu where you manage everything looks like a cell phone, except for when you are diving. The cut scenes, especially for upgrading weapons or food, remind me of training montages in various animes. The backstory you learn of the characters is well thought out. 

Basically, this is a game that hits you with a lot of cool things you don't expect. The added game mechanics are built up as you play and you really learn to use what the game gives you. There is all kinds of marine life available for you to catch. There's big bad monsters to fight (so far, my favorite has been the Truck Hermit Crab).

Is it a truck? Is it a crab? Who cares, it's trying to kill you!

Even the combat isn't that difficult - most of it is just learning the moves and having the right timing. 

Basically, this is a fantastic cozy game made by a small developer. It's an excellent entry into the genre which includes greats like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

The developer of Dave the Diver is MintRocket, and they can be found here.  The game can be found on both the Switch and PC via Steam. 

Thanks for reading!