OK, this is only a quick review of Scuba in Aruba (aka Kenny’s Adventure) because I only played the demo – although I did play it intensely for a full hour until it expired. Scuba in Aruba is a brand new downloadable PC Indie game and it’s an underwater platform game with 60 levels.

The first thing you notice is that the graphics are really good and very smooth indeed, with some really great particle effects. I’ve no doubt that you need a half-decent 3D card to run this game, even though it’s only a 2D game – in fact, the minimum specs list DirectX 9. The sound and music are very fitting too.

Scuba in ArubaThe idea is that you are a boy searching for lost treasures underwater and you must navigate around fairly small levels (with big graphics in parallax layers) picking up coins and gems along the way. When you’ve collected the treasures you get in your diving bell type thing and go back to the surface. You have to avoid puffer fish, octopuses (found out today that Octopi is not a real word!), dripping goo, mines etc and there are plenty of secret areas to find. When you jump, you can hold the jump key and swim up for a certain amount before you drop back down again; this gives quite a nice feel and allows for fairly big jumps. Oh, and you can throw stones at the various enemies, or jump on their backs (if they have shells), but there aren’t any other weapons.

I played the game with my son, who is 5, and he really liked it. I thought it was well done and initially enjoyable but after a short while I realised that it was way too easy and a bit simplistic, and I suspected that I wasn’t really going to see much more new stuff. I actually completed 18 levels in one hour and increased my lives to 10, so maybe the full game would only last 3-4 hours for me. However, I’m a seasoned platform game player and I think that perhaps the game is aimed more at kids or beginners… Also in the 18 levels I played, the level graphics didn’t change, but the screenshots do show other level graphics, so I guess I didn’t get far enough.

So overall a very polished game that’s easy to get into and play, but it’s perhaps not very challenging or varied enough for more experienced players. Kids will love it though, I’m sure.

Jake

I'm an Indie game developer with a couple of titles under my belt. I've been programming for 23 years on a variety of platforms. Currently I'm using BlitzMax, which is great.

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