A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn a bit about environmentalism and creative arts in this race-to-the-right action game. They'll guide a speedy fish through an ocean cluttered with human debris en route to puzzles levels where their little swimmer confronts potential sources of pollution. They'll learn more as they watch messages between levels, some of which humorously explore subjects related to the game, such as how to save energy. Kids may also glean an appreciation for papercraft as they take in the game's origami-like environments and creatures. This game delivers its message about environmental issues inside a fast-paced side-scrolling puzzle game.
This game carries a basic theme about protecting the integrity of our oceans. Fish-on-human violence is part of the experience, but it's presented in a very cartoonish, non-gritty way unlikely to leave any emotional scars.
Positive Role Models
Derrick doesn't do much other than eat and swim, though he does manage to destroy a few human installations that are polluting the ocean.
Ease of Play
Levels are short and simple, but collecting all of the items necessary to unlock new areas usually involves replaying courses. Also, the act of jumping from the water to soar through hanging tires and over land obstacles is tricky, and may cause frustration for less patient players.
Violence & Scariness
Players control a papercraft carnivorous fish that needs to eat just about everything he comes across to stay alive. He gobbles up anything, from crabs and penguins to unfortunate human swimmers. Each meal results in a brief flash, perhaps a few paper shreds, and a word like "puff," "krak," or "boom" appearing in text on the screen.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Derrick the Deathfin is a simple side-scrolling underwater game about a shark out to save the ocean. There's a bit of violence (Derrick will eat blocky human swimmers who cross his path), but there's no grittiness or gore. Everything is presented in papercraft, and consumed creatures simply disappear with a flash and a comic book-like word, such as "krak" or "puff." Beyond the action, the game carries a clear environmental message concerning human pollution of the world's water, with Derrick out to take down major potential sources of pollution, such as an oil platform.
Is It Any Good?
There's not much to this basic side-scroller, but what's here is fun. The papercraft graphics are simple but pretty, and the swim-to-the-finish action is just the right level of challenging -- you may not make it the first time, but you probably will the second (and since most levels are only about a minute long, you don't feel like you're wasting time). The environmental message lurking just below the surface makes the action a bit less mindless than it might first appear.
Finicky controls -- especially when jumping out of the water through tires or over land -- can be a bit aggravating, and the need to replay levels to collect more gems or jump through more tires to advance feels like an attempt to artificially lengthen the experience, but these aren't deal breakers. Derrick the Deathfin is entertaining while it lasts.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.