Infinite Scuba

Game review by
Sarah Van Boerum, Common Sense Media
Infinite Scuba Game Poster Image
Diving game aims to teach but runs out of air.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how dive science is used to explore and navigate the ocean, as well as go on missions to find lost relics and artifacts. Kids also can learn more about specific ocean locations including the Mesoamerican Reef in the Caribbean and Glover's Reef in Belize as they swim with whale sharks and rays. The Belize site also allows players to participate in reef cleanup as well as tag invasive species. While players will be able to customize and manipulate the air gauges on their scuba suits for each dive, limited instructions will complicate total understanding of this crucial feature. It stumbles in its instruction, but Infinite Scuba tries to raise environmental awareness and helps users learn more about plant and animal life in the ocean.

Positive Messages

Raising awareness of sea life, dive science is important to environment, planet, animals.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Diver based on the real Dr. Sylvia Earle, an oceanographer environmentalist. Her fight for ocean conservation is a noble, worthwhile endeavor for animals, science.

Ease of Play

High learning curve. Game controls limited to a few keyboard keys and both mouse buttons. Neutral button helps diver get back to a normal swimming position.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

Advertises many dive companies during play.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Infinite Scuba is a downloadable action game for players of all ages. Infinite Scuba focuses on the exploration and history of dive sites around the earth’s oceans. Players will see and identify a variety of ocean life including sharks, fish, and rays, as well as plant life as part of their goals during each dive. Success provides certifications and achievements along the way. Gamers acquire clams that work as money in the game to buy sponsored professional scuba gear for their diver. Parents also should know that due to the lack of specific directions and tricky controls, many players will find the swimming frustrating and the goals unclear, making Infinite Scuba difficult for younger players.       

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What's it about?

INFINITE SCUBA allows players to experience diving in Earth’s oceans from home. Designed with the help of oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle and professional diving-related organizations (including PADI), Infinite Scuba simulates underwater dives and allows players to identify wildlife, explore underwater sites, and find artifacts. Along the way, they'll take photos and learn about local history along with dive science while getting an appreciation of our oceans. Players also can customize their avatars with the purchase of additional scuba gear.   

Is it any good?

Infinite Scuba focuses on important environmental and scientific exploration by including a variety of on-site dives. It allows players to learn more about the science of scuba and geographical discoveries at each location. Famed oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle serves as the player's avatar and helps to bring each dive location to life as you go on a variety of missions. The game is great at bringing awareness to the challenges of taking care of Earth's oceans. Players also will have options to customize their dive equipment -- they automatically receive 500 "clams" when they purchase the game, and additional clams can be purchased on the game's website. These clams then can be used to purchase new dive equipment and dive sites.

Unfortunately, although the intention was good, the game has way too many negatives. First, the control scheme is flawed -- it was very challenging to get the diver on the correct course without constantly running into the sea floor or going in the wrong direction, which made dives very difficult. Second, there's no practice session to learn how to operate the gear, which would make it easier to understand the goals and how to control the diver. Adding a larger overview of dive sites or a map also would help players succeed in their tasks. Perhaps worst of all is that Infinite Scuba becomes repetitive and disengaging after the first few dives, meaning only the most patient or dedicated players will want to keep playing. Infinite Scuba tries to highlight how important and beautiful the ocean is, but it runs out of air before it accomplishes its goal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how we can take better care of our oceans and protect the creatures that live in them. How many species of fish and wildlife do you see swimming around in the game? Do you think it's a realistic representation of what the floor of an ocean would look like?

  • Discuss how to be responsible when swimming in our oceans and seas. What kind of gear would you need to wear, and how would you treat the animal and plant life you would come across while swimming or diving?   

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