It’s been a while in the waterworks, but the niche underwater action game Ace of Seafood by mad genius and probable marine biologist Nusso has finally made its way to Western shores.
Your adventure begins with the choice to take control of a sardine, a salmon or a lobster. They all have their own perks; salmon is a tough species that can swim up creek, but the sardine has some schoolmates who will follow you around and cover your back, whereas the lobster has the ability to crawl out onto small islands poking above the sea-line.
If this three-way starter choice reminded you of Pokémon, you might be pleased to hear that there are a ton of species in this game which you can directly take control of. As you explore the wide ocean you will discover more exotic species, including deadly sharks, rays and unknown creatures of the deep… you might even be able to take control of some man-made vessels! These are all unlocked by breeding, but not the standard kind (sorry if you were hoping for some fish-on-fish action) but through DNA which you obtain from your fallen enemies. It gets a little strange from here so… just stay with me.
Ace of Seafood is set in a futuristic world where sea creatures possess the ability to fire laser beams from their mouths. You’ll probably make good use of the ability on your quest to conquer the vast ocean. The map is divided into reefs, which are territories for you to capture and turn into a base from which to strengthen your resources and use obtained DNA to “assemble” new forms of life to play as. One of the first things you will notice is how the fish move in such a realistic manner. I would later find out that Nusso actually went to the extent of scanning real fish in order to accurately render their in-game models. Maybe these are the times we’re living in. Scan fish to make a video game? Why not?
On the surface Ace of Seafood might appear to be a wacky fish simulator. Dive a little deeper and it becomes clear that this game has accomplished a lot more than your average indie game. For example, Ace of Seafood encompasses elements of shooting, open-world exploration, simulation and collecting different species to play as. Developer Nusso has even added online features that allow you upload your team data to the server and fight the teams of other players in your own game world. He has strived to achieve a great sense of freedom for the player, in a game that knows both how to laugh at itself and take itself seriously.
Those who enjoy Ace of Seafood will also want to check out the first game Neo Aquarium, also available on PLAYISM. But before you jump in the deep end, be sure to remember: there’s always a bigger fish.