seaQuest DSV (video game)
SNES box art. The same design was used for the Sega and Game Boy release.
|Publisher(s)||Malibu (NA), THQ (EU)|
|Release date(s)||Mega Drive/Genesis: 1994
|Genre(s)||Strategy, Scrolling Shooter|
seaQuest DSV is a real-time simulator/strategy game depiction of the seaQuest DSV television series for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. The player takes the role of the captain of the submarine seaQuest DSV 4600, and is tasked with carrying out a series of missions in a series of levels, divided up as "ocean quadrants". There is a seaQuest DSV game for the Game Boy as well, but it is completely different from the 16-bit console versions.
The game is divided into two parts; one in which the player controls the seaQuest in an isometric perspective overworld and is able to buy equipment and weapons and travel the ocean quadrant, and horizontal scrolling shooter style missions, in which the player must achieve various objectives using a complement of mini-subs, robots, and a trained dolphin wearing an aqua-lung. Some of the missions are simplistic and require the player to make use of only one of the seaQuest's vessels; others have the player make use of several of them in succession. For example, there's a mission in the first ocean quadrants where the player must rescue the crew of an exploration vessel trapped in a caved-in underwater cave, and has to use armed subs to clear several cave-ins before they can bring in the only mini-sub that's equipped to rescue personnel from other subs. The missions also typically involve combat between the player's mini-subs and the units of pirates, eco-terrorists, and other foes, but also more often than not require the player to perform some sort of non-combat task such as the aforementioned rescue operation.
The other part of the game is the overworld where the player controls the seaQuest herself. These areas give the player access to several menus in which they can replace lost equipment, buy new weapons for the seaQuest, and read up on the various missions received while in that quadrant. While traveling a quadrant, the player comes across minefields, automated torpedo launchers and hostile submarines, many of which the player needs to destroy in order to achieve missions. For example, there's a mission in which the player is to seal the leaks in an oil tanker sunk by ecological terrorists. In addition to accomplish this objective with the mini-subs, the player needs to not only complete the mission itself, but also to use the seaQuest herself to sink every terrorist submarine near the oil tanker wreck.
The game features a currency system, and awards the player money for destroying enemy targets and completing objectives. The player can also lose money for destroying underwater settlements and killing animals present in some missions. Money is spent on weapons, countermeasures and mines for the player's seaQuest submarine, as well as replacements for lost vessels in missions. The player has no need to spend money on repairs, though, as the seaQuest and her complement subs repair themselves over time.
THQ worked directly with the computer graphics team at Amblin Entertainment to make the seaQuest DSV game accurate and realistic to the designs seen in the series. Several of the original unused concept designs for the seaQuest (seen right), as well as concepts for the renegade pirate submarine Delta IV that was featured in the series pilot movie, were used in the game as enemy capital ships.
Marketing for the games included a large print campaign in comics and gaming magazines like Electronic Gaming Monthly, EGM2, Nintendo Power and Game Players as well as several sci fi and fantasy magazines, such as Starlog and Omni.
The SNES version was reviewed by Nintendo Power in their February 1995 issue. They gave the game a 3.2/5 rating. It was later featured in the "Classified Information" section of issue 75 and 82 of Nintendo Power. Game Players gave the SNES version an 88 out of 100. GamePro gave it a positive review, praising the intellectual challenge, the variety in how each of the five vehicles has different controls and purposes, and the 3D graphics effects on the ships. The Sega version got 82 out of 100 in February '95 issue of Game Players. Video Games & Computer Entertainment gave the SNES version a 6 out of 10 in their January 1995 issue.