Home > Apps, iPhone, Reviews > “Blue Submarine” iPhone Review

“Blue Submarine” iPhone Review

Blue Submarine is a game that will pass many people by due to the fact that it is a very low-profile release on the always crowded App Store. And I must admit that there are lots of $1 games that beat this in terms of length, presentation, and overall gameplay. However, for those looking for something a little different or who want to support an independant developer, this may be a game worth checking out.

The first thing you will notice with Blue Submarine is its underwhelming visual quality. It’s clear that team responsible for creating this app consists more of programmers or designers than artists. The models of your submarine, the enemies, and the environments lack any real detail or style. The word I use to describe the graphics is “functional”, because they do paint a picture of what’s going on, but they fail to go beyond that bare minimum.

Luckily the gameplay, the most important part of any game, holds up better under scrunity. This brief game consists of two types of levels, which alternate as you play through it. First are the on-rails levels which place your submarine on a course traveling straight ahead while sharks swim in the opposite direction, towards you. To beat these levels, you have to shoot the required amount of sharks. To complicate things is your life bar, which depletes not only when you are hit by an oncoming shark or you collide with the ground or rocks on the side of the track, but also as time goes on, which leads me to believe that it is some sort of oxygen meter.

The second type of level you face in Blue Submarine, which takes place in a 3-dimensional space that allows you to freely move in any direction, makes use of this meter as well, although this time no sharks appear and time is not your main concern. Instead, enemy submarines and mine-dropping boats top the list of things to watch out for. The submarines can shoot missiles at you, which, if they should hit their target, destroy you in one hit. On the flip side, you are armed with missiles as well, which even have a mild homing ability. Swimming close to an enemy in these levels causes a blue box to appear around them, and when this happens you know any missile you fire will gravitate toward them. The homing isn’t perfect, because you’ll almost always completely miss unless you’re straight behind them. This might sound like a flaw, but I actually think it is the main contributor to the fun factor of these stages, because you’re always persuing these submarines or boats while trying to avoid contact with them or their missiles/mines. Unless of course you take the kamikaze route and collide into those things on purpose, effectively exploding the both of you. That strategy is always fun to pull off when you know you have extra lives to spare.

The mine-dropping boats can sometimes be tougher enemies than the submarines, since the long line of explosives they drop behind themselves force you to find a safe path in which you can approach them. But with some practice, they can be taken down efficiently.

The only other type of enemy appears in the later stages, which is the turret. This stationary device can swivle around once it appears onscreen, for the purpose, of course, of blasting you down. To go along with the introduction of the turret on both the on-rails and and 3-dimensional levels is the shield, which creates a protective bubble around you for a limited time.

While there are only two different types of challenges you’ll face in Blue Submarine, the steady ramp in difficulty and implementation of new enemies keeps the game feeling fresh as it goes along. It isn’t very lengthy – I was able to beat the whole thing in around ten minutes – but it is something I found myself returning to. It lacks in presentation, which I imagine will turn many people off to it right when they see the first screenshots. For their next game, I’d advise the developer of Blue Submarine to find an artist to help them out and a composer to make a better soundtrack than what this game offers – one awkwardly looped drum track on the main menu. With these problems aside however, I feel like there’s enough in the game to give it a thumbs up. Blue Submarine is cool little action title with tight controls and a unique design. For that, it deserves a look.

Pros: Tight controls, cool design, good pace

Cons: Poor visuals, not much of a soundtrack, very short

Final Score: 6.1 out of 10

By Josh60502


The developer of Blue Submarine was kind enough to send us two promo codes for their game, but I ended up only needing one. So, the first person to send an email to frayedwireemail@gmail.com asking for the extra code will get it! Good luck!

Categories: Apps, iPhone, Reviews
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