Developer: Dyabit Games
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Humans have junked up the ocean pretty hardcore. Granted, we have yet to map out the entirety of the ocean, but given the fact humanity is generally not talented at properly disposing of trash, we can guess at the contents rotting below the waves: Rusted husks of ships, barrels of toxic waste dumped overboard in darkest night, plastic bottles of every shape and size, and maybe even some decomposing food.

Dirty Depths by Dyabit Games is an arcade/survival title that’s not shy about showing the ruination that’s rusting away at the bottom of the ocean. However, all that garbage isn’t enough to stop the game’s protagonist, a perpetually hungry piranha that’s intent on eating everything that’s put in front of him.

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Dirty Depths‘ action takes place on a slowly-scrolling screen. The piranha can swim in all directions with the help of the player (tilt controls are recommended, and though touch controls are an option, they don’t seem to work very well). Activity boils on the ocean’s surface, including fishing boats that drag hooks, war ships that deposit mines, and vessels that dispose of metal barrels.

Players need to avoid all these hazards, but more importantly, they need to gobble up the food being deposited by a jet-skier that cruises back and forth. Technically, the skier is littering, but she can be forgiven since eating her discarded food is what grants points. The oblivious benefactor also deposits letter tiles, if the player manages to spell “PIRANHA,” they receive bonus points.

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Dirty Depths‘ gameplay isn’t exactly as deep as the Mariana Trench, but darting around and scarfing soggy hamburgers is certainly fun for a while. There’s not much to do beyond the attempt to gain a high score, so it’s a good bet players will get tired after a few games. There’s still quite a bit to appreciate here, though, including detailed pixel graphics (again, the depiction of the ocean’s ruination is both grim and impressive). That said, it’d be nice if the touch-based controls worked a little more smoothly.

Dirty Depths is a pleasing arcade title that should at least keep players busy while they’re using the head. Go fish.


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