Developer: Karol Budka
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Charming to look at, Sea Conquest falters thanks to clumsy controls and uninspired gameplay.

It’s an Endless Runner type title, or should that be Endless Diving? Players control a deep sea diver as he works his way down to the depths of the sea, while dodging plenty of obstacles. Spikes, rocks and barrels form a particularly significant obstacle, given they can’t be shot out of the way and frequently cause the diver to lose all his health. Other obstacles, such as mines, fish and snakes can be shot aside, courtesy of the diver’s trusty trident.

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It’s simple stuff, with the sole aim being to beat one’s previous high score and get further down to the depths of the ocean. Oxygen plays an understandably important role here, with the need to replenish through catching air bubbles, and not being hit by enemies. It’s the controls that hamper the player’s efforts most.

Using tilt controls to direct the diver works suitably well, but the buttons for firing or accelerating are awkwardly placed. They’re small buttons and positioned at the bottom of the screen, meaning it’s often quite difficult to get to them safely while still tilting the iOS device correctly. A swipe or tapping elsewhere on the screen could have rectified this, but instead, it feels cumbersome.

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There’s an upgrade system thrown in to encourage players to keep pursuing the depths of the ocean, but it’s a bit uninspired. Each level of upgrade costs the same amount, whether it’s a larger oxygen tank or new harpoon gun. It’ll also take a while to accrue any of these, which is far from the encouragement one would expect from such a process.

Sea Conquest just isn’t interesting enough to pursue. Sure, it’s cute to look at, but with such a clunky control system, it’s hard to recommend over so many superior offerings. The genre is just too busy for mediocre titles such as this to rise to the surface.

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