A game of organised chaos that reveals the more destructive side of the infamous Moby Dick
Whale of a Time
So you’re a giant albino whale lurking in the crystal-clear waters of a generic ocean with nothing else to do but go about your boring life. Sounds like a bit of a dull existence, doesn’t it? This may be true, but for one albino sperm whale called Moby Dick, life is far from tediousness as you (or any other marine organism) could possibly imagine. That’s because Moby Dick is controlled by you in the terrific sequel Moby Dick 2, a game that involves the wanton destruction of almost everything and anyone that’s unlucky enough to be having a bad enough day to venture into your personal space.
Had a little go at the original Moby Dick. This game’s all about the very same cycle of destruction and reward as its predecessor; it’s effectively a self-perpetuating symphony of disaster that you get to control using your mouse exclusively (and the spacebar to open up the upgrades screen). That’s right, this is a mouse-centric game that allows you to control the action without having to destroy certain keys on your keyboard by machine-gun pressing them into destruction. Instead, you are presented with a 2D cross-section of a discrete ocean segment in which Moby Dick patrols destructively; use the mouse to control his movement around the screen.
Whale to the King, Baby
Moby Dick has a few interesting functions that facilitate the ferocious destruction including the slavish following of your cursor’s every move and the handy skill of being able to perform a cheeky boost by pressing the left mouse button near the surface of the water. This boost is useful for knocking enemies out of their boats so you can swim to them and gobble them up, a grizzly event that happens automatically just by swimming past them.
It isn’t simply destruction for the sake of destruction however: Moby Dick is essentially just trying to survive. The people that sail into your waters aren’t there for leisure but to actively hunt you down like the Infamous Japanese & Norwegian Whale Harpooners. You’ll find that you’ll encounter lots of men in small boats shooting arrows at you at the beginning of the game, but as the waves of enemies become more intense there will be full-on sailing ships that shoot all kinds of projectiles at you. The variety of enemies that are after you increases as you progress, but luckily you have a few tricks up your sleeve to help you survive.
The game is made more challenging and interesting by having you pay close attention to other factors that affect your very survival such as your air and your fullness meter. You must resurface periodically in order to replenish your air supply and also eat well, pretty much anything in order to ensure your fullness meter stays at acceptable levels; both indicators can be found towards the top right-hand side of the screen along with your health meter.
It would be a bit of a boring game if you just had to swim and kill people with no other variables to think about, wouldn’t it? Thankfully there is a system of progression in Moby Dick 2 known in the industry by the misleading term “upgrades”. As you eat people and score points/multipliers, you are rewarded with upgrade points that you can spend on improving Moby Dick’s attributes such as his size, health, speed, boost, toughness, diving ability, hunger, breath, and a few more. There are more things to upgrade this time around compared to the original, which is one of a few improvements that have been made.
Moby Dick 2 is still essentially the same game as its predecessor, but to those that have played both it will be obvious that improvements have been made. In addition to more upgrades there are more enemies to deal with and generally more things you have to think about. The aesthetics have been improved as well, and these were already quite stunning in the original. Moby Dick 2 has a wonderfully stylish interface and artwork that represents the time period of the book with light-heartedness; the polished graphics help to make the artwork shine through as well.
It is the little touches like the dynamic depth gauge that tracks your position in the water and the detailed illustration of the tiny enemies you get to eat that really make Moby Dick 2 stand out from less polished destruction games, for example Miami Shark. While not quite as stylish or thought-provoking as Deep and Blue, Moby Dick 2 is much more fun and action-packed, its upgrades allowing for longevity whilst the format ensuring instantaneous rewards for your time.