One of the features of many of the games in the recent Casual Game Design Competition #3 (and particularly the winning entry) is that compulsion to have "just one more try" when the game ends. And one of the games that has certainly always had that effect on me is Dolphin Olympics, by Alan Rawkins, reviewed here just over a year ago. Every time the clock runs down, there's that nagging urge to try and score that little bit more, or jump that little bit higher.
Well, Dolphin Olympics 2 is a much anticipated sequel with some great new features. Firstly, other sea creatures will now interact with you. In fact, you can earn more points by getting other fish to follow your lead and jump out of the water. Magic rings both above and below the water give you a quick speed boost and can help you reach the dizzy heights of outer-space (complete with 1950's sci-fi-movie-style music). There are some new tricks and secrets to discover as you try to swim, leap and tail-slide yourself onto the high score board.
Analysis: I was a big fan of the original Dolphin Olympics and the sequel does not disappoint. Although the mechanic and aim of the game are pretty much the same, this has a slightly different look to it, with significantly more detail added to the sea bed and background. Once again, the challenge is in chaining together strings of successive tricks to boost your multiplier and amass some impressive scores. And the trick to that is ensuring that your re-entry to the water is perfect every time.
Whilst this is a great way to spend your five minute coffee break, this game will reward replay with new moves and ever higher places to explore. I'll leave you to discover most of the secrets that are hidden in this game, but if you run the game at different times of day or night, you will be pleasantly surprised (change your system clock and re-load the page if you don't believe me).
Cheers to Alan, Tala, and Jack for sending this one in!