North American box art
|Developer(s)||Nintendo EAD Group No. 5
Steel Diver (スティールダイバー Sutīru Daibā ) is a video game for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a side-scrolling action game in which the player controls a submarine via a set of touch-screen based levers and wheels. Shigeru Miyamoto described it as being "almost like you have your own submarine pet in an aquarium".
In the year 19XX, a 'power-hungry rogue nation' invaded several nearby countries. A secret organisation known as the 'Steel Divers' was formed from various countries' navies to combat this threat. The Steel Divers travel through various areas including Arctic and jungle settings and are eventually tasked with destroying the enemy stronghold.
Steel Diver consists of 3 main modes: Missions, Periscope Strike, and Steel Commander. Missions is further broken down into 2 modes: Campaign and Time Trials. The main gameplay occurs during Campaign. In Campaign, the player uses sliders and dials on the touchscreen to manoeuver a submarine through side-scrolling levels displayed on the top screen, sinking enemy submarines, battleships and avoiding naval mines and depth charges as required. There are seven missions available, playable with different subs and difficulty modes, which usually involve goals such as eliminating enemy fleets or infiltrating enemy bases by reaching the goal in a time limit. Time Trials features the same gameplay style and controls, however the levels are shorter and are not connected to the story, instead being solely to achieve a fast time through a complex path. Periscope Strike mode is played after every successful mission or can also be played separately, or as part of Steel Commander. This mode sees the player moving the system to rotate a periscope to fire torpedoes at enemy ships. Steel Commander is playable against the CPU or a human opponent via Download Play. It is a strategy game in which the two players command a fleet of battleships and submarines and try to sink each other's fleet.
At the E3 2004 trade show, Steel Diver was first shown as a tech demo for the then-upcoming Nintendo DS. It was not until six years later, at E3 2010, that Nintendo revealed it as a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS. The game was developed by Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis and Development division in cooperation with the external company Vitei. It was released in North America on March 27, 2011, where it was one of the first games for the Nintendo 3DS. However, it did not make the Japanese and European launch window. The game was released in Europe on May 6, 2011, and in Japan and Australia on May 12, 2011.
Steel Diver has received mixed reviews. As of June 2011, Metacritic's aggregate score is 58. IGN gave Steel Diver a 7.0/10, praising it for its addictive gameplay, but gave caution that the slow paced strategy is not for everyone. Contrarily, Game Informer gave the game a 4.00, praising its music and sound, but criticizing the multi-player and the knob-moving game play during a time limit and chaotic levels. Official Nintendo Magazine awarded it 61%, criticizing its lack of content, saying, "Wait until the price dives for the depths before you consider a purchase."
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