Getting our seal of approval
Playing on nostalgia to sell a product is an age old tradition and Seal Force makes no bones about its obvious source material. From the intro movie that resembles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in both video and audio material, to the character voices throughout the game, this is an 80's Saturday morning TV show made into a game.
Not content with raiding gamer's childhood, Seal Force also borrows ideas from other iOS games. Line drawing is mixed with colour matching and then stirred in a big pot of endless runner. It could have turned out to be a Frankenstein's monster, but Nordisk Film Games knew exactly what they were doing bolting this game together.
The four hero seals; Lobo, Fonzie, Milo and Sarge, are protectors of the sea and their arch nemesis, Krillion, isn't making life easy for them. Using neon Krill, he aims to infect the world's seas and make them do his bidding. Cue big evil laugh and four 'radical' characters out to stop him at any cost.
The hyperactive story serves for an equally frantic game. Choosing one of the three seals (Lobo is in the whale HQ and provides backup) you match their colour to an oncoming bunch of krill and draw a line towards it. The seal will swim out and attack the krill, removing it from the screen.
Coloured Krill move towards the left of the screen, which our heroes need to protect. Allowing them, or anything else, to get past them results in losing a life (or, as the game puts it, being Krilled). Add angry crustaceans to the mix, which sweep across the screen and need to be dealt with pretty hastily, and a frantic battle to keep the enemies from reaching your space ensues.
On it's own, this would be enough to secure the game a few plays through, but Seal Force has another ace up its sleeve. Taking its cue from the endless runners like Tiny Wings and Jetpack Joyride, the game presents you with achievements that unlock as you complete certain tasks. You also receive money for progression in the game and this can go towards unlocking power-ups, increasing strength or stamina and purchasing extra lives.
Power-uos, in turn, can lead to combo bonuses for destroying waves of Krill, as well as some nice on-screen effects when they're used. The balance of buying these or extra lives, increasing the stats of the seals and meeting objectives will keep you coming back time and again to the game, trying to get that little bit further against an endless sea of Krill.
Also in the game's favour are the fantastic in-game graphics. The artwork is simply beautiful, with highly detailed cartoon seals and other characters providing high quality production values and adding a ton of character to the game. Matching this are the sounds and voices. While the background tune can get a little repetitive at times, the voice acting is spot on and breathes life into the heroes. You can't help smiling at some of the corny phrases uttered during the game.
While Seal Force borrows unashamedly from other games, it earns its own identity by providing a unique mix of gameplay styles coupled with a stylish look and sound that should earn it a place in your collection. Roll on the Seal Force TV show.
- Sound: 10
- Graphics: 10
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 9
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