Diver 2


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Rating: 3.9/5 (91 votes)
| Comments (39) | Views (19)

diver2.jpgJohnBDiver 2 is a physics-based game of cliff diving created by Jeff Weber of Farseer Games. Its simple premise sticks you on top of a cliff and says "ok, now jump gracefully into the water and land between the markers". Riiiiight. Doing that perfectly (and on the first try) is about as easy as teaching a cat to sing a canzone from Rigoletto. With a little practice, though, you'll get it right. The dive, not the singing cat bit.

Diver 2 has a fairly steep learning curve for a casual browser game, but the awesome feats you can perform after a few minutes make it worth your time. To start each jump, you need to position the mouse to select your jumper's stance. The location of the cursor relative to your character determines how he's standing, allowing you to start your leap at just the right angle. To take the plunge, quickly swipe your mouse in a reverse "C" shape. This will cause you to jump off your platform and start a backflip, sending you hurtling to the ocean (and rocks) below.

While airborne, you can control your rotational speed by moving the mouse either up or down, the former slowing your turns while the latter increasing them. Time it right so you slip into the sea head- or face-first (belly flops are bad). Assuming you made it between the buoys, you'll get a grand score and can consider that level mastered.

There are 30 stages in all, each with new obstacles to tend with, such as windmills and slippery slopes to slide across. Things never get too out of hand, though, as the game stays focused on what it does best without burdening itself with pointless gimmicks.

Analysis: Diver 2 isn't a game that will hook you right away. The control scheme is an awkward obstacle standing between you and your enjoyment of cliffside leaps. Once you spend four or five minutes with the game, making a series of laughably unsuccessful dives and scrutinizing the tutorial and tips a few times over, you'll realize the controls are also one of the game's strongest features. They make Diver 2 simultaneously realistic and enjoyable, taking away some direct character manipulation in favor of satisfying feats of acrobatics achieved after careful manipulation of physics. It's at this point you realize the mouse-only controls are remarkably subtle. No need to wave the cursor all over the screen in the hopes of getting things done, just stay calm and keep an eye on your diver.

One of the more advanced feats you'll need to master for later stages is secondary jumps. Watch where your character's feet are in relation to nearby platforms. If you can time it right, you can push off of rocks in mid-descent, the only real way to gain horizontal ground in the game.

Starting and re-starting your jumps is elegantly executed. If a leap doesn't go the way you want, just click the mouse and you'll materialize back at the top of the cliff. You aren't punished for bad leaps, and you aren't constricted to one level until you get the perfect score. It's a great set-up that encourages experimentation without introducing frustration.

If you've got the patience to let the control scheme sink in, Diver 2 offers up a unique physics experience that looks great and plays like a dream.

Play Diver 2

Note: Diver 2 was created using Silverlight, Microsoft's Flash-like web application framework. Silverlight works with Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems, but you might have to install the plugin if you haven't already.

39 Comments

The tutorials don't work. They all just dump me into a blank white page with the diver sitting there. After a minute or two I get tired of nothing happening and click Main Menu. (And there's no "play" button or anything.)

I suspect because of this, I can't even get the little guy to jump. He just rotates forward or back until he falls over, then I attempt to get him to do The Worm until he falls off the cliff to his doom.

Also, the game seems laggy. When I move the mouse fast enough to actually make him move, it tends to "jerk" until my mouse is offscreen. Annoying.

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tenkuchima Author Profile Page February 11, 2010 9:41 PM

game wont run for more than a few seconds before becoming super slow. so slow that its unplayable for me.

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ViciousChicken Author Profile Page February 11, 2010 10:19 PM

JIGuest: Did you see a "Continue" button in the top-right corner? Make sure your window isn't cutting the top of the game off. Took me a while to realize that.

It reminds me of a "Ski Stunt Simulator" game I used to play a lot, but it seems to have some issues at first glance. For one thing, your score doesn't seem to depend at all on whether or not you hit things on your way down; you can bounce your head all over the walls and other nasty obstacles, but still pass if you land vertically between the buoys.

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page February 11, 2010 10:23 PM

I couldn't work this one out at all.
Clicking, sweeping the mouse, following the yellow dot, clicking on the diver, clicking on the arrow, attempting sweeping backwards C's with the mouse... nothing worked.
Probably missing something...

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AnonymousGuy February 11, 2010 10:30 PM

This is fun! But I suck at diving and can't even get past level 4 :P

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page February 11, 2010 10:31 PM

Never mind. Power of posting plus seeing ViciousCHicken's suggestion to hit the 'Continue' button both helped.
Scored 100 in practice but first real dive, diver hit the rocks hard on the way down.
It's great to see games that require unique ways of utilising a mouse.

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Whenever i try to dive, i can never seem to get a lot of horizontal distance from the starting point. more often than not i end up jumping almost straight up and merely falling off the cliff. i feel as though most of the scores i got were pure flukes... Of course, i am using a laptop with a track pad, so i might have better luck with an actual mouse...

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I think the tutorial should say a bit more about how the movements control the dive.
The learning curve is pretty prohibitive, but I can't seem to stop anyway. As soon as you start, you're dropped in with all these hard mechanics like icy surfaces and windmills. For those who want to hone their skills, try playing Diver (I), which can be found on the host's homepage. It starts out with a few levels that are more straightforward (though not much easier).

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Back in 2006, I played a very similar game, written in Java, where you're a skiier going downhill and doing tricks. It used the same mouse-based control scheme, which I thought was really difficult to learn. But eventually I got it, and got pretty good at the game (I'm sure it's still online somewhere).

Even though this game basically clones the movement system, I still had fun with all the different levels. I didn't like that I had to install Silverlight, but it was worth it. It's a fun mechanic!

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ChaoSpectre Author Profile Page February 12, 2010 12:07 AM

Hey, guess what?

Don't play this game on a touch pad.

I wonder what kinds of content Silverlight will foster in the future.

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Fun when you get it right, but annoying during the many, many, many times when you get it wrong.

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Using a decent mouse, standard PC setup, experienced with flash games - Still, he doesn't jump. Just wiggles and falls. Level four is impossible, I cannot leap as far as the ice-ramp, just tumble into the hole.. Why! D:

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Some fundamental difference in software or hardware, the character has no 'power' here, nomatter how high the mouse sensitivity is set. He cannot dive, only fall. Dull, frustrating experience, considering he claims to have beta-tested this with a team.

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Really let down by the controls which makes it unplayable.

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Got to 13 and gave up in frustration. That long jump off the diving board was just too much time wasted.

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This game is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. Sounds like there are a lot of cry-baby quiters out there today. I'm no expert gamer, but I've made it to level 24 before getting stuck. I'll keep trying though.

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Bloatedsack Author Profile Page February 12, 2010 1:53 PM

Couldn't complete 4, got stuck at 12.

This has a frustrating combination of mouse precision and aggressive "fling". It's a bit awkward to get the diver to leap well enough fwd to hit the target AND get the spin just right to land on your feet and keep the momentum in the right direction.

Perseverance didn't deliver. ...moving on...

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@xadrian
13 was definitely the hardest thus far but probably the most educational one as the springboard mechanism is not intuitive.

In order to reach the opening, you will need to hit pretty much the end of the board, but to get the distance, you'll need to swipe BL to TR when the board just hits its lowest point (and not when rising as I would have expected - this gives you only the height but not the distance).

Once I mastered that (to a point where I was jumping past the gap), it was even harder to get the landing right but I guess I got lucky one time.

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Wow, this has got to be one of the best games i've ever played. Brilliant controls, very innovativy.

For people having a hard time with the game, i suggest taking a look at youtube videos posted by experienced posters.

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I thought it was ridiculously hard at first, and then I realized I was letting him cannonball into the water instead of diving straight in. Then it got fun.

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I guess I have to agree with JIGuest in some way. When I see comments that complain about how things are "impossible" or too difficult along side comments from people who seem to be getting it I have to question if it really is the fault of the game. Sometimes the player is bad.

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I can't even install silverlight. :/ I'm using firefox 3.6, can anyone help? >.>

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Does anyone else get a kick out of a game where you absolutely MUST land in a particular place, in a particular way....but it's okay if you got killed on the way?

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Thought this was fantastic, as others, i got stuck on 13, but battled on till around 21.. my eyes are now sore, and that level was so precise that i had to give it a break

5/5 though! Look forward to diver 3..

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With harder games, enjoying the experience really comes down to how much you enjoy failing in each game and whether you find it worth it to keep trying. Going back to an old standard of hard game, Ghosts N Goblins was hard, but fun even when you were doing terrible.

For me, I had a lot of fun losing in this game. Some of the most amusing moments have been failing and watching the character smash his head off of something, then careen limply into the sea.

It's a little unfair to call people whiners just because this isn't their cup of tea.

And I conclude with a simple statement:
I hate you, level 21.
I hate you.

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Mr.Touchpad February 12, 2010 10:37 PM

Beat all the levels ... using only a touchpad. It was *that* addictive & enjoyable.

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Godawful controls. I can't even get a simple backflip as the game suggests.
And whats all that talk in the tips section about the hitting the "diving board"?! What effing diving board, I'm standing on a rock?!

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I finally beat all the levels, including the two extras. I have to say I disliked a lot of the level designs. The diving boards were fun the first, second, maybe third time but they quickly felt like a cruel ploy to create many more levels than they should have and I think there were 8 or 9 levels that were simply variations of "hit the diving board perfectly on the end and shoot really high and really far". Bleh. However, it kept my attention for whatever that's worth. Also, the levels that don't use the plunger/diving board were incredibly fun and I wish there were more of them.

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The controls are godawful and make it unplayable. Even once I figured out how to play and started to get decent at it I found out that the game is essentially luck based after level three. It actually could have been a clever game other than that.

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Megatough with a trackball, but still a ton of fun.

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Wouldn't Mr. Newton be happy! Man I am so glad this game saves progress, cause this is going to be continued........

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What a fantastic game. This one managed to capture my attention like no other. I am a fan of games which require a certain level of finesse to complete, such as this one. I had a bit of a laugh when I read one of the comments above, claiming that it is luck based past level 3, while I admit that you can jump 40 times, and luck will give you a good score, pulling consistent 100's is not. Then again not everyone likes to perfect games.. Anyway, great game, and if you can stick around until you master the controls, definitely one of the more rewarding ones out there.

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This is clearly one of those games that polarize players along the "games should be simple and fun" vs. "I like a game that puts up a fight" divide. It makes me wish Jayisgames had a rating histogram like Amazon's; I'm pretty sure Diver 2 would get a chart much like the one the infamous SICP textbook got.

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does anyone know where the progress is saved?

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I WANT MOOOAAARRR!!!

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I came back to it many times before i actually completed it. Did it on a trackpad. I found it VERY addictive and am still going back to diver 1 in an attempt to complete that. One thing I would say is sometimes I did find the diving board bit could be a bit luck based. In the next one I would ask for some sort of replay function as when you land a perfect dive it would be nice to be able to see t again as it is extremely satsifying. I rate this game highly!!!

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Here's some help for the people who are having a hard time. The best way to jump off a spring board is feet first, then straightening out to vault yourself. to do levels with ramps you slide faster when you are crouched down with feet flat on the ramp. then jump when you are at the end.

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Anonymous April 29, 2010 2:25 PM

tips for 13 plz

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love this game soo addictive lvl 21 is so hard as i cant seem to position the diver too get high enogh and go far enough as for lvl 13 try getting the diver to hit the middle of the board on your feet or stomach should get you through that lvl and the control are easy to use and try flicking the mouse outwards if you cant jump

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