The life of a Turtle.
Controlling a Sea Turtle via some kind of remote control may well cause certain people I know to become quite upset (looking at you, TurtleGirl), but it is ok, this Turtle is not going into battle or anything potentially dangerous. This is one of those peaceful, relaxing games that come about every now and again. Besides, if you ignore the story, you can pretend that this is a turtle simulator rather than some game portraying a grotesque future in which Humans have yet again abused nature for their own benefit.
Maybe I am being a bit dramatic here. There really is nothing malignant about this iPhone game from Chillingo. Set only a short time in the future, mankind has managed to find a way to basically control a Turtle and have it perform tasks.
Controlling your Turtle is possible using two different control methods. The first, and perhaps the most irritating, requires the player to swipe their thumbs along the left and/or right side of the screen in order to activate the Turtles flippers. This works on the same basis as rowing a boat with oars, and is equally as confusing to the newcomer. I am sure that this method will give the most realistic experience, but it really would take more time than people are willing to invest to become proficient enough to enjoy the game.
Switching over to the other control method will allow the player to sue simple buttons for acceleration and reversing, whilst tilting the iPhone allows for steering and such. This method works a lot better and,m whilst still requiring a bit of getting used to, will allow the player to start enjoying the game and swimming around like a veteran Sea Turtle in no time.
The player is presented with various missions within a beautiful 3D area of the ocean, complete with shoals of fish, underwater ruins and other scenery you would expect to find in the murky underwater world. The visuals are really where this game shines, as it looks gorgeous and the player can lose a lot of time by simply swimming around this deep sea world and taking in all of the atmosphere. This is aided by some suitably under water sounding effects that only add to the immersion.
So, the missions are fairly straight forward, being mostly of the find and retrieve type. Using the GPS displayed on screen, finding these things is not exactly difficult. Maybe I am simplifying things there, but I do not want to give away too much and spoil the game for anyone who is planning on playing it.
It would be very easy to spoil, as the game is so short that I could tell you everything that happens within a simple sentence. Here lies the games biggest flaw. With only a handful of levels and very little enticement to go and replay them once they have been completed, Mission Deep Sea is a very short experience.
The game itself is beautiful to look at and enjoyable to play, once the controls have been practiced. The short length is certainly a disappointment and will leave a lot of players feeling short changed. But, if we assume that the game will be expanded with additional content (it has already had leaderboards, achievements and multiplayer challenges added) then this is work in progress. A little more content will make all of the difference. But, until then, it is one of the calmest, most relaxing experiences on the iPhone.
Mission: Deep Sea is available on the app store here for just 59p for a limited time