Dolphin Olympics 2 Game

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Dolphin Olympics 2 - Addictive, dolphin-based aquabatics

Aquatic Wishfulness

Perhaps you may be a fan of the open water and all that it entails: the sensation of almost-weightlessness, the sound of the waves crashing in the gentlest of ways around and against you, and the reeling off of poignant thoughts in your head and try to convince yourself that the world actually isn’t such a terrible place because the place where land meets sea happens to be a good-weather Mecca for everyone wishing to take advantage of the sun’s ability to increase the body’s production of melanin to create a sun tan. It’s all so very lovely, isn’t it, but I’m sure it would be even lovelier if you happened to see a dolphin performing tricks and combos for points in the distance as it is trailed by schools of fish just wishing to get in on some of the action. Dolphin Olympics 2 allows this absurd thought to become a reality (albeit animated entirely in flash).

Conceptual Briefing

You may be familiar with moreish games that create the urgency of wanted to better your performance just one more time (read: eighteen more times or until your laptop blue-screens from overuse). In Dolphin Olympics 2, you take control of a dolphin in order to perform a series of tricks within a limited time frame in order to score points. After two minutes, the round ends and these points are tallied up. It sounds too simple to be fun, doesn’t it, and you’d be correct if the game didn’t involve the performing of a variety of combinations of simple tricks that are easy to perform but difficult to perfect.

Controlling Matters

Use the left and right directional arrows to make your dolphin travel upwards and downwards in the water, use the upwards arrow to accelerate, and the downwards one to perform a roll. These are all underwater movements, but when you emerge from the water, you can perform flips and tricks in quick succession in order to score multiplier points. Landing nose-first scores you a ‘nice entry’ bonus as in actual Olympic diving, but unlike in the Olympics, you are a dolphin that can also perform a tail slide by holding the downwards arrow when approaching the surface of the water. The ‘roll’ function is used to connect tricks between landing and becoming airborne again, leading to a greatly augmented chain of tricks and therefore more points. Other variables like speed-boosting hoops in the water and gathering a posse of fishy followers also increases your score.

Concluding Proceedings

Now, I’m not usually one for games without gratuitous violence and needless bloodshed, but Dolphin Olympics 2 from Alan Rawkins has had me wearing out my directional arrows for a number of hours now (non-consecutive, but still), and I don’t see myself retiring any time soon. Though there aren’t any shiny medals on offer, the act of bettering your own score is a terrifyingly addictive experience and could be described as the heroin of gaming, only without all of the nasty side-effects and the life-ruining aspects of it all. The physics are absolutely spot on for this kind of game (as far as I can discern, anyway, since I’ve never been a dolphin or any other aquatic organism for that matter), and the graphics are fairly simple but with enough polish to make the whole thing seem extremely professional and with very, very few rough edges (literally and figuratively). Keep in mind that for every second you don’t play this game, a dolphin cries a tear of sadness somewhere in the world. Just remember that.

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