The newly formed Recharge Studios has launched their very first game, Dolphin Play, into the App Store. Though the game was initially slated to retail for $0.99, Recharge has decided to surprise us by taking a freemium approach and offering the app as a free download to customers. Hooray for free aquatic fun!

Dolphin Play is a relaxed aquarium simulation game where players can buy fish, take care of them and then eventually sell the matured critters to buy bigger and better fish. Along the way players can buy and train dolphins, which will quickly become the staple of your underwater world. It sounds a lot like undersea Farmville, and that’s a fair comparison though Dolphin Play features a lot fewer annoying Facebook messages asking you to help friends buy manure.

I got to spend a little time with Dolphin Play around launch and it seems like the sort of app which has a lot of potential for the casual crowd. While hardcore gamers are likely to shy away from what is essentially an aquarium management game, there is a whole subset of the gaming populace which will be more than happy to check in on their pretty fish once or twice a day, feed and take care of them and then go on about their day. Sure, you could tell those people to just go get real fish, but if Nintendogs can work on the DS then Dolphin Play can work on the iPhone.

We can also see this app scoring with kids, as we all know children for some reason love to do everyday tasks that seem menial to adults. It’s probably because they haven’t yet discovered that responsibility sucks and still believe they’re “helping.” Enjoy those years parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Also, the game’s leveling system gives players, especially kids, an incentive to keep taking care of their fish so they can get bigger and better options. It’s not incredibly deep, but there’s still a hook there (get it?) to keep you coming back for more.

At any rate, if you’re looking for a chill app for yourself or your kids that lets you sort of check in and out when you feel like and doesn’t require a huge time commitment then Dolphin Play is definitely an option. We’re going to be keeping an eye on this one and see if it manages to make waves (I promise I’ll stop now) in the App Store.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-12-18 :: Category: Games

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