Also available on Android, Wii U, Switch, and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 12/19/2018 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Ace of Seafood is a masterpiece. It’s an absolute masterpiece. Just like Epic Dumpster Bear was for Wii U, Ace of Seafood is a bizarre indie game that scratches an itch you never knew you had – conquering the seas as a fish that shoots lasers out of its mouth. Seriously, that’s the whole game. Humans have been wiped out in some nuclear war, and now fish fight for oceanic supremacy with lasers. It’s the most gloriously stupid concept I’ve ever heard.
When you first start the game, you get to pick between three different starter fish, and from there, you have to kill whatever fish you come across and absorb their genetic material. If you get enough genetic material of a certain type of fish, you unlock the ability to breed that fish. Some of these fish are small, weak, and easy to breed like a hermit crab or a sardine. Some of these fish are big, expensive, and pack some serious muscle like the bluefin tuna and the leopard seal. Some of these fish are massive, behemoth boss-tier fish with a price tag to match like the great white shark or the giant squid. Depending on how many reefs you’ve found and secured, your resource pool for your school of fish increases. This will allow you to add more fish to your school and add better fish to your school. A salmon, for example, takes 40 school resources to add; the giant squid takes 300 school resources. It’s all about picking the right tool for the job.
Bizarrely, there are also human ships that you can destroy and collect “genetic” material for to “breed.” I don’t really get why this is a thing – all the humans are dead, and boats aren’t genetic anyway – but whatever, I can have a nuclear submarine fight alongside my giant squid and great white shark. I’m NOT complaining, that’s freaking dope. One specific reef leads to the final boss, but it doesn’t tell you this until you’re there. You’re just wandering around, minding your own business, and you beat the guardian fish for this reef, and you enter the reef to save and heal. Next thing you know, it throws you straight into a battle (after auto-saving and healing you, thankfully) with a genetically engineered super fish bio-weapon. That’s a tough fight, to say the least, but when you beat Metal Fish Solid (not really the name. Just my dumb nickname), you’re rewarded with the end credits. It then puts you back in the ocean by the reef to continue your conquest if you so wish along with some huge schools of invading fish that spawn and must be repelled. I mean, you could ignore them, but where’s the fun in that? MUCHO MARINE MASSACRE MAYHEM!!
Ace of Seafood is my new second favorite indie game ever. Epic Dumpster Bear will always be #1 in my heart, but holy crap, Ace of Seafood is absolutely incredible. Objectively speaking, it’s not perfect. The targeting can be a little bit finicky, the menus are fairly bare bones with minimal explanations save for the tutorial that’s either go through the whole thing again or go through none of it. What it may lack in the final polish that games with the funding and manpower of big development teams or publishers, however, it MORE than makes up for in charm and sheer bizarre awesomeness.