We probably had a good five or ten minutes after video games were invented before someone said, "How can I ruin this by making it an educational game?" (They were a bunch of scientists, after all.) The decades of the gaming world have seen more than its fair share of educational games that do a great job of teaching you and a lackluster job of entertaining you. Scuba the Submersible's Ocean Odyssey sets out to be a fun game where you can learn stuff - and from what I've seen so far, it succeeds.
Scuba the Submersible's Ocean Odyssey is all about an adorable little underwater drone named Scuba. The ocean is laden with trash and it's Scuba's job to clean it up. I went hands-on with the game in VR at Play NYC 2018 and I enjoyed my time with the game's demo level.
Gameplay in Scuba the Submersible's Ocean Odyssey mainly consists of you picking up the various bits of garbage littered around the level. At first, you can simply pick this junk up with your adorable robot claws. A later portion of the first level had these absolute units of garbage balls that required something heftier. I was then afforded the opportunity to assemble a water cannon upgrade which would let me break up the garbage patches and free the adorable turtle in our header image. The show demo then ended with a boat going overhead and dumping barrels of toxic waste into the ocean. Harsh.
Avolve Innovations is now taking their game to Kickstarter in order to secure some more funding for development. Development is puttering along nicely with the ultimate goal of 30 levels and a heck of a lot of fun crafting to enhance your efforts to clean up the ocean. Let's get into their campaign and see what's what.
Scuba the Submersible's Ocean Odyssey is a game with educational elements that's actually fun. Weird, I know.
Outside of the "pledge a few bucks because you're nice" levels, the real meat starts at the $25 dollar level with the Deep Sea Diver Edition. That'll get you a copy of the game on release, an exclusive wallpaper, and your name mentioned in the credits in the section for this tier. Upping your pledge to $40 will also grant you immediate access to the game's pre-Alpha and a $60 pledge will add in the game's soundtrack.
At the $100, you'll get exclusive access to an AMA session with the developers along with everything in the previous tier and your name in the "Recycler" section of the credits. Toss in another five bucks and you'll net a sweet 11" x 17" full-color poster.
At $150, you can get the Collector's edition of Scuba the Submersible's Ocean Odyssey. This includes Oculus Rift controller mounts based on Scuba's hands, your name in the "Collectors" section of the credits, and everything from the previous tiers. Bumping that up to $175 will swap out the controller mounts for a limited edition Scuba figurine.
Finally, we get into the big bucks tiers. The $350 "Rescuer" edition gets you everything in the $60 tier, your name in the "Rescuer" section of the credits, and your name emblazoned on an anchor attached to a buoy in the game. The $500 "Lost Artifact" pledge level swaps out the anchor namedrop for the ability to design your own easter egg model in the game. At $1,000, the easter egg gets swapped out for the ability to name an NPC in the game. Finally, the $1,500 "Submersible 2.0" pledge level changes out naming an NPC for creating your own A.I. submersible that you'll get to meet in the game.
There are six stretch goals for this particular Kickstarter campaign. At $15,000, the "Crab Cave Cleanout" map will be added to the game. $25,000 will add in the map "A Whale of a Time" featuring a blue whale in a heck of a lot of trouble. The $35,000 tier rounds out the potential for new levels with the "Pirate Booty" map; it features a sunken ship packed with tools for Scuba to use.
The $50,000 stretch goal will upgrade the game's A.I. and add more interactivity to make the world feel more alive. At $100,000, a Story Mode will be created which will make for a grander narrative than what's originally planned with the game's 30 or so levels. Finally, the $150,000 stretch goal will add in online multiplayer functionality with both competitive and co-op.
This is Avolve Innovations' first Kickstarter campaign and it has a ways to go. They're seeking $7,500 in total and have only managed to hit $420 at the time of writing. It's really unfortunate because this is a pretty great game that could use some love. If Scuba the Submersible's Ocean Odyssey seems like the kind of game you'd like to play, pop over to their Kickstarter campaign and consider pledging. This campaign ends on Thursday, December 27, 2018 at 8:07 PM Eastern Time.
What do you think of Scuba the Submersible's Ocean Odyssey? Do you like the idea of being an adorable robot garbageman? Let us know in the comments below!