Review by Thorpe
Reviewed: 02/12/07 | Updated: 03/12/07
Proves to be educational and fun for anyone who likes sea creatures.
Odell Down Under is an undersea fish eating game that can be educational and fun to play for anyone. Basically, the main concept is to eat fish and learn from it. There are several varieties of fish to get through. You must make your way up to the top of the underwater food chain without risking getting eaten or being poisoned. Now, you start off with the smallest fish available and can swim right into the action. However, take note this little fishy you start off with won't be able to eat everything on the menu. So, think before you go right up to a Great White Shark! The way it works is that you control the fish with the mouse and click on something to eat it. A dialog box pops up and tells you whether or not that was a good thing to eat. This dialog box can get annoying since it feels more like a chore having to keep closing it everytime you attempt to eat something. It does, however prove useful for first-time players.
There are several modes to choose from. This includes "Challenge", "Tournament", "Create-a-Fish" and "Practice". The "Challenge" mode makes you start off with a small fish and as you progress you'll be able to use bigger fish. In order to complete this you need to earn so many points (as mentioned in the dialog boxes) to progress further. Your progress can be saved and so it is not necessary to play it all in one go. Once this mode has been completed you are then known as the "Reef Ruler". Being the "Reef Ruler" means your score is displayed on the opening movie of the game. The "Challenge" mode will take some time to complete seeing as there are so many varieties of fish available to you. The game aims to educate you for the most part about what fish can and cannot eat. The "Tournament" mode allows you to select any fish and play - including the Great White Shark. The "Create-a-Fish" mode from its name lets you create your very own fishy. You can change many statistics about it including its speed, endurance and ability. These all effect how your fish performs in the sea. This mode is pretty limited though. You'll only be able to choose from five colours of fish (green, pink, orange, red, blue) and three sizes. The overall look of the fish cannot be changed. Other options in this mode lets you choose when your fish is active (either during day or night) and whether you want any special abilities. Now, bare in mind you have so many points. So, if you put your speed all the way up many of your points will be deducted thus limiting you to what other attributes you can set. So, it isn't possible to create your super-powerful fish here. If you do have some points still, you can select some special abilities. This includes "Sonic Blast", "Electric Shock", "Squirt Ink" and "Poisonous". You may have already gathered what these abilities do from other fish in the game. The last mode in the game ("Practice") lets you select any fish available and practice. So, this is your sandbox if you just want to have fun or pass time.
During gameplay, your fish cannot survive for long. Its energy will decrease if you do not eat enough. If you eat the wrong things its health will decrease. These statistics are both shown as bars at the bottom of the screen. If you are not sure on what a certain fish is during the game you can click "Info" at the bottom-left and that will pause the game. You can then simply click and hold over a fish for a description. There are all sorts of things to eat - worms, coral, sponge, grass and more. If you're pretty confident on what fish to eat then simply go ahead. Just be sure to watch out for those higher up on the chain. You are on a 3x3 grid. Only one grid is shown on the screen at a time. To get to another grid you just simply move your fish down or sideways. The bottom grids are the seabeds which contain snails, grass and other stuff you'd expect to see on the seabed.
When the game is opened, the opening movie is shown depicting some of the varieties of fish available. It looks very underwater-like and the music goes very well with it. There are a few different pieces of music to listen to (these are MIDIs) during the modes. Everytime you move you'll hear sound effects of bubbles and such too. You'll probably find you won't play this for too long in a row. It's a great game to just jump into and is easily suited at both adults and kids. There could of been a better variety of fish to create and more seas to explore with your fish. It proves okay and can be educational for kids, however.
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