Bermuda Triangle: Saving the Coral
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bermuda Triangle: Saving the Coral is a match-three puzzler with a gentle environmental theme about helping coral reefs flourish while protecting them from human and environmental menaces. The content is completely innocuous; this game is safe for anyone old enough to understand how to play. That said, note that the interface is less than ideal, and could cause frustration in players of any age.
What's it about?
BERMUDA TRIANGLE: SAVING THE CORAL is a puzzle game that has players captaining a boat with a canon that fires pods filled with nutrients that float on the ocean’s surface. The goal of the game is to carefully aim the canon so that similarly colored pods line up in groups of three, at which point they will disappear and shower growth nutrients on the coral below. If the pods stack down far enough and reach the ocean floor, it’s \"game over.\" Players can earn supporting items while playing to make their job easier, including anchors that will sink and make pesky coral-munching snails disappear, ocean waves that will clear the top line of pods, and bombs that release nutrients from the pods they destroy. There are three play modes: a story mode that has players sailing to locations around the coasts of four different islands, a timed mode, and an endless mode.
Is it any good?
Bermuda Triangle is a good idea with middling execution. The basic match-three concept is solid. Popping pods onto a grid that grows from the top rather than the bottom is a modest but fun innovation, and the environmental theme, though mostly window-dressing, is pleasant. Plus, the power-ups, though neither diverse nor great in number, are useful and satisfying.
If only the controls didn’t put a damper on things. Firing pods into the ocean is simple enough. You can use the stylus to tap where you want them to land or select a spot with the d-pad. Both work, but the stylus is quicker and more efficient. Unfortunately, using the stylus makes selecting support items via the shoulder buttons tricky. It’s even harder to deploy them, which requires a tap of the X-button. Alternatively, you can call up a power-up menu at the bottom of the screen, but that takes more time and causes the player to lose track of what’s going on above. These aren’t deal-breaking issues, but they make it take a lot longer than it should to become comfortable playing.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about using video games as a platform for environmental activism. Do you think that a game like this with a very simple message will have an impact on those who play? Did it make you want to learn more about coral reefs?
Families can also discuss ways in which the message could have been made clearer and stronger. What questions about coral reefs did the game fail to answer? How could they have been answered within the context of the game?