Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Reef Shot

5:00 PM on 05.14.2013 // Patrick Hancock

Ba-dum glug

I've never been scuba diving, though I imagine it can be quite the relaxing affair. Checking out the reefs, the fish, and just marveling at what is essentially a whole other world sounds pretty wonderful. It would stand to reason, then, that a game about scuba diving and taking pictures of the beautiful underwater scenery would be an equally relaxing affair.

Reef Shot definitely can be relaxing, in between all of the intrusive story bits and distracting objective markers. It wants to take you along for a ride, but in most cases, I'd rather be steering the wheel myself.

*Note: All photos used in this review were taken by me within the game. 

Reef Shot (PC)
Developer: Nano Games
Publisher: Nano Games
Release Date: November 21, 2012
MSRP: $9.99 

There is a story in Reef Shot, one about discovering ancient Mayan artifacts and trying to uncover the mystery of El Dorado, the lost city of gold. The story does an okay job of keeping the player interested, since the possibility of discovering a lost city is definitely intriguing. The problem is that the game quickly shifts focus from taking pretty pictures of colorful fish to taking pictures of brown slabs and carved rocks.

Taking pictures of fish never truly goes away, but it does begin to feel more out of place. After a long series of artifact photos, Reef Shot will randomly require the player to photograph a fish again, as if to remind them that they are underwater and there are fish around. It's strange to hear the in-game partner go from freaking out about ancient ruins to calmly describing a fish at the drop of a hat.

Perhaps the worst part about the story is the ending. After an incredible amount of build up surrounding El Dorado, as soon as the last picture is taken in the last mission, a text box just pops up congratulating the player on performing this incredible feat before booting them out to the main menu. Underwhelming would be an understatement.

Each mission consists of taking pictures of either fish or artifacts in order to advance. Every photograph must meet a certain quality requirement, which is measured in stars. For example, a one-star photograph means you should go back to art school and a five-star photograph deserves to be framed and put in a museum. The game isn't as clear as it could be in terms of what constitutes each level of photograph, though. Even worse, when a four-star photo is needed and a three-star photo is taken, the game doesn't give any feedback as to why it was only a three-star photo. Sometimes I felt as if I was photographing works of art, only to get a two-star photo, and I was never quite sure why.

An utterly bizarre decision, the option to save all photographs to your computer is turned off by default. It even turns off again at the beginning of each mission! I find it very odd that in a game about taking photos, photo saving is always turned off unless the player remembers to turn it on.

Reef Shot also directs the player around the map by placing objective markers. Each mission boils down to moving to a marker, taking photos, moving to the next marker, taking more photos. There's no freedom whatsoever in how missions progress; the game is extremely linear. In fact, it even punishes the player for just swimming around and taking photographs, since both oxygen and photos are limited.

It is possible to spend earned stars on "perks." These perks include refilling oxygen, adding more photographs, or locating the fish or artifact needed to complete the current objective. Sidequests are also unlocked by spending stars. Doing so not only costs the player some stars, but also oxygen and photos, so unless a sidequest is done quickly and efficiently, it could result in a failed mission.

There is no checkpoint system in place, so a failed mission means starting the entire thing over again. Chances are that failure will not come often, but when it does it is incredibly frustrating. I think I would have preferred the removal of a fail state over an actual checkpoint system, however. In a game like Reef Shot, it would be nice to be able to just explore the ocean floor and take as many pretty or ugly photos as I'd like. I kept hoping that a free-roam possibility would unlock upon completing the story mode, but regrettably that never happened.

The game looks good enough to convey the vast expanse of the ocean floor and the loneliness of diving deep, but almost every artifact is drab and ugly instead of beautiful and interesting. The fish also don't react to the player's presence in any way, and in fact most of them clip right through the player. There aren't many music tracks included, but the few that are set the mood extremely well. For the most part, the music is upbeat, but gets more somber during a deep dive and sets up the tension of being so far below sea level.

Reef Shot could have been much, much more than what is offered. As a first-person adventure game, it does little to stimulate the player to keep pressing on, except perhaps to hopefully see more fish variety. If you're like me and want to just meander about the ocean floor and take some photographs of virtual fish to relax and enjoy yourself, Reef Shot offers very little.



Reef Shot - Reviewed by Patrick Hancock
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Patrick Hancock, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure therealhancock Tips
Watching and playing competitive games like Dota and StarCraft take up most of his time. His three favorite non-video game things in the world are space, dinosaurs, and puppets. So if there we... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Reef Shot

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

On The Fence

Five wrestling games in which kayfabe is REAL

Persona Still Reigns Perfection

Cblogs of 11/30/2015 + Saudi Arabian Ban Hammer

Eleven indie games that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE in 2016

Should 'Mercy Spoilers' be a thing?

Thankful It's Over: Assassin's Creed 2

Virtua Memories: Virtua Fighter/Remix (Virtua Fighter Month)

FNF: Christmas toime is hear

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

siddartha85 avatarsiddartha85
I finally backed Indivisible. After hearing about Red from Transistor, I played the demo again. That platforming is solid and I'm used to the combat now.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Man, I completely forgot how awesome Pokemon Black and White's soundtrack is. The Vs. Trainers theme is probably one of the best I ever heard, if not the best in the entire series: [youtube][/youtube]
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Indivisible's campaign is over $1.4 million! just a little more!
Dum, dum, dum! Another blog bites the dust! And another done, and another done! Another blog bites the dust! #RIPtumblrbecausefuckit
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Ugh, I've been sick for what feels like 3 weeks. If I die I leave all my games casket because they're mine. Stay away! *hiss, hiss*
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Apparently the upcoming Tri-Force heroes update makes the local-play only items possible to get for everyone. That's pretty great!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What youtubers y'all watch? I need more.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Playing For Glory earlier today, some guy beat me and changed his name to "ifukdu_up". I won next round and he changed it to "ILETUWIN". I then 2-0ed the little sucker, and he left the lobby. I took great pride from this incident.
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Henshin into a person with a larger disposable income.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Why the hell are we suddenly accepting micro transactions in fully priced games? It used to be only acceptable in free-to-play games but its sickening that even AAA developers like microsoft are on the bandwagon.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
If you're ever writing about something from the heart, and you stop and think "I don't know how people will react to me if I write this" then you absolutely should go ahead. Passionate conviction is often the only voice you'll have.
VeryImportantQuestion avatarVeryImportantQuestion
Wait a second...has the blog editor been changed with the idea being that the formatting be done in Word or something and then pasted in? Have I been using it wrong these last few posts?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
guys I'm standing in a Target looking at a Xenoblade X special edition what do I do
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Dear Dortmund Zoo: how's it possible for people to steal 3 monkeys, 3 squirrels and 2 penguins while killing a manatee and another penguin since April and you still have no clue how to stop this?
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! We got Xbone! [img][/img]
Flegma avatarFlegma
Two more reasons not to preorder: the game might appear in stores before release day (Hello, Xenoblade Chronicles X for 60EUR at my local mall) or the mail workers may be on strike (well, they were until Monday).
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
ModDb's MOTY (Mod of the Year) votes are up, there's quite a TON of interesting mods this year, give it a look and vote for your favorite! ---
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, US Pokemon fans! Apparently if you just rename your SSID to Mcdonalds Free Wifi, you don't even need to go anywhere to get your Hoopas. Seems like they could've just made this one a normal download.
Archelon avatarArchelon
It may have been a war of attrition, but I just took out a Snowspeeder on foot in Battlefront. Aww, yeah.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, for one reason or another I watched the endings of bloodborne via vaatividya, and in so doing made myself sad that I will never get to play it. Still cool that they seem to have really nailed that lovecraftian exestential horror and despair.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -