Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey

2.7 Overall Score
Gameplay: 3/10
Graphics: 2/10
Sound: 3/10

Slightly educational

"Treasure" looks terrible | Aquarium is boring

Game Info

GAME NAME: Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey

DEVELOPER(S): Cypronia & Playtrix

PUBLISHER(S): Cypronia

PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS

GENRE(S): Puzzles

RELEASE DATE(S): July 4th, 2013

Remember screen savers? Those old timey animations that used to run on your computer or laptop when you weren’t using it with bouncing words or stars flying towards the screen as if you were travelling through space? If you’ve ever seen one of those before, then you’ve already played half of Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey. The other half of this game is an underwater scavenger hunt, which is really just a nice way of saying there’s a massive clutter of items under water that the game tasks you with finding like a “Where’s Waldo” book.

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When you choose to “Dive” from the main menu you will be presented with just an absolute mess of the most random things you can imagine at the bottom of the ocean. You have a certain amount of time to pick and choose items that match whichever prompt the game has given you (i.e. “Find all the gold items!”) with your stylus. Each item you pick up awards you some cash to spend so you want to get as much as possible before the time runs out. The items you’ll be hunting for range anywhere between gold bricks all the way to a birdcage. A birdcage.

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This cash is used for the screen saver portion of the game: filling your aquarium tank! By spending money on fish, plants, or decorations, you slowly decorate and populate the aquarium you see at the start screen. Your aquarium also has a meter for each category of item you can buy that fills up as you purchase items. Once you fill your aquarium up 100%, you can move on to your next tank (there are three in total). And that’s it! That’s… really all there is to this game. Try and find treasure, and then fill up your aquariums. It doesn’t take that long, either. If you’re fast enough, you can grab huge amounts of money for each dive and quickly fill up your tanks. The only exciting thing that happens while looking for treasure is when giant fish occasionally swim past you, blinding you with bubbles in a poor attempt at creating difficulty or challenge.

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This title is also plagued by missed opportunities that could only be remedied by the marriage of the 3D and touch screen technology. When diving for treasure, you are using the touch screen. This is great because you can use the stylus to pick out the items you have found and does not slow you down by having to manipulate the analog stick or directional pad to select items. Unfortunately, that means that you have to play on a flat 2D game world where all the low-res images of treasure start to blend together. Obviously this is what makes a scavenger hunt actually challenging, but being able to put that on the 3D screen could have made the experience even better.

The aquarium uses the 3D screen. This is fantastic because while observing the fish swim in the tank you have customized, it looks like they are actually swimming through actual space instead of paper cut outs moving back and forth. Unfortunately, that means you cannot interact with your fish in any way and that becomes incredibly boring. If it were on the touch screen, there are a slew of mini games that could be introduced to make filing up your aquariums worth doing at all.

The Recommendation

Five dollars is a really steep price for such lackluster software. Finding treasure is incredibly boring because everything is graphically represented by what looks like low-resolution jpegs for you to tap, and watching your fish mope about the aquarium is nearly as exciting as watching grass grow, if while watching that grass grow a giant lizard ran past you and somehow blinded you with obnoxious bubbles. Thankfully, the experience is over quick because there honestly isn’t much to do here. The one actual positive spin I can put on this title, is that each fish or plant for purchase comes with a very small blurb that gives you some educational information about the fish or plant species. So I at least learned something along the way.

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Author: Nick View all posts by
Sarasota, Fl native living in Tallahassee studying education at FSU. I am also a judoka who is certified by USJA as a coach and referee. Passionate about teaching, fighting and gaming.

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