A review by Ryan Holt
The Frosty Pop Corps are no stranger to mobile games, and High Dive proves that they are masters of their craft.
While mobile games have drastically changed the landscape of gaming since the introduction of the app store over 10 years ago, most people want their handheld gaming to provide a quick and engaging experience. This is where High Dive succeeds. Instead of having players run into a frustrating wall of microtransactions, High Dive provides a singular experience right from the get go. While reviewing this game I found myself constantly hitting retry, despite telling myself I should have gone to bed forty minutes ago.
High Dive has a simple, retro aesthetic to go along with its retro inspired gameplay. As Walter, a man who just loves to dive, you objective is simple: jump and dive into the small pool below. After each successful dive, your starting point climbs higher and higher and more obstacles get thrown in your way. You start by dodging birds, rockets, and airplanes. By changing the trajectory of your jump, you are able to dodge anything that would keep you from making a successful splash.
On your way down to the pool below, Walter can collect power ups like gems, slow mo, and hearts. These items do try to tempt you into changing your fall direction, but usually they require a second dodge immediately after you pick up the item, creating a nice relationship between risk and reward. Gems can be used to purchase other characters, like a bucket of popcorn, that can make the treacherous dive instead of Walter. Because popcorn likes to dive too.
The best part about the game though is it’s zen like atmosphere provided by a smart and well defined color palette. Everything is rendered in a subdued, almost pastel like red, with glints of oranges and pinks to accent the deep reds. It invokes a warm and welcoming feeling that keeps the game feeling fun and not as frustrating, despite the many deaths you might incur.
Another charming feature is that you can record your dives straight to your phone if you want it to. All you have to do is hit an icon before you perform your first of three dives and the game will give you some recording options, including one that will use your microphone to add some color commentary to the dive.
Play it! High Dive is a great game that pushes retro charm into its aesthetic and premise, all while offering addicting ‘one more try’ gameplay.