A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While not overly negative, the purpose of the game is, in part, to fire at enemy subs and creatures and stay alive by avoiding mines and other obstacles. Most missions have military undertones of destroy or be destroyed.
Positive Role Models
As commander of the various submarines, you must attack enemy vessels to complete missions.
Ease of Play
The game is fairly easy to learn on the Nintendo 3DS, but different modes have different objectives and camera angles, so there might be a small learning curve during the first few minutes of each mode.
Violence & Scariness
Players can shoot torpedoes at enemy submarines and deep sea creatures. Depending on the mode, the game is played from a third- or first-person perspective. There is no blood or gore in the game, but you can fire weapons, with the intent to destroy. Your submarine can be destroyed by running into mines.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Steel Diver is a military submarine simulation, featuring some violence. You can blow up enemy submarines and see the vessel sink into the ocean. The cartoon-like graphics means it's not realistically represented, nor are there people screaming or bodies floating in the water. You can also destroy deep sea creatures out to harm you. But be aware a periscope mode has you play the game from a first-person view. Plus your ship can be destroyed by running into mines. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.
Is It Any Good?
Steel Diver is a good game, but $40 is a bit much for what you get. That is, there are only seven main missions to tackle (which are replayable with different subs), plus there's the "ad hoc" Steel Commander multiplayer option for two friends in the same room. But Steel Diver doesn't seem to have longevity as many other Nintendo games, though it is still fun while it lasts. The 3D effects works well, too, which adds to the immersion, as does the gyroscope sensor that lets you move the 3DS around in 360-degrees to look for (and shoot at) enemy submarines in Periscope Strike mode. You can also earn sub decals that unlock special abilities, such as increase speeds or stronger defenses. Overall, Steel Diver is a fun game but it might be better as a weekend rental than a $40 purchase.
Online interaction: The game lets you play wirelessly with a nearby friend ("ad hoc" mode), but there is no over-the-Internet multiplayer options. Gamers can't chat through their Nintendo 3DS while they're playing, either.
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Our Editors Recommend
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