Derrick the Deathfin
What parents need to know
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.
What's it about?
DERRICK THE DEATHFIN, available via download through Sony's PlayStation Network and on Steam for PC, stars an angry fish whose parents were killed when an oil company carelessly polluted the ocean. Derrick travels around the world, moving from one continent to the next on his way to confronting several human disasters-in-waiting, including an oil rig and an atomic installation. The game's speedy little levels involve swimming as quickly as possible from start to finish line, with Derrick needing to feed on the fish, animals, and humans he encounters along the way to keep up his energy. Players must also collect pink gemstones and attempt to jump through hanging rubber tires in order to unlock new areas.
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.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the environment. What about the way humans treat our world concerns you most? Do you think there's anything you, personally, can do about it?
Families can also discuss water safety. Do you swim in open water? Do you know the rules and pay attention to signs and instructions from lifeguards?
Do you think games are a good medium in which to discuss social issues and/or science?
|Subjects:||Social Studies: geography |
|Skills:||Thinking & Reasoning: solving puzzles|
|Available online?||Not available online|
|Release date:||October 9, 2012|
|ESRB rating:||E10+ for Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood |