Timmy's Sea Adventure

Developer:  Compedia
Publisher:  GameNation
Year Released:  2002

Review by Rosemary Young (August, 2002)
This is Timmy's fourth appearance on the computer screen. His first three appearances were in story book-cum-activity centre games: Timmy Climbs the Wall, Timmy the Dream Hunter and Timmy's Birthday Party. This one, Timmy's Sea Adventure, is his first adventure outing.

Inspired by David Grossman stories the game opens at Timmy's bath time. His father reaches into the tub and pulls the plug. The water swirls in the plughole and so does Timmy's bright pink fish. As it disappears Timmy wonders what would happen if someone pulled the plug in the sea.

Move on to bedtime. In his dream the pink fish cries out. Timmy totters into the bathroom to find his pink friend down the plughole ... someone HAS pulled the plug in the sea!

Adventuring and playing
Although this is Timmy's first adventure, this game hasn't forsaken activities and games altogether. It's a happy mixture of inventory based adventure puzzling jumbled together with games and activities. The activities include a memory matching game, a space, or more rightly, a trash invaders game, a peg jumping puzzle, a Pacman Maze, a cake decorating exercise, and the like. Where relevant the games have three difficulty levels making them suitable for a range of ages, and sometimes they provide useful inventory items to help solve other problems in the story. But very little is for free, of course J , it costs a 'shell' to play many of the games, so there's the added imperative of shell hunting to increase the fun factor of the exploration.

Of course Timmy's ultimate challenge on this journey is to find the missing plug so that the Sea Lion can pull his foot out of the plughole and take a rest. This involves collecting the ingredients for baking a cake, finding the Turtle's lost shell, freeing the Teddy Bear Fish from a net and so on. All the characters are cute and chirpy and they are voiced very well, pity they don't have names to bring them more alive. Overall the graphics are friendly and clear with a colourful soundtrack to match, plus a song or two.

Age range
Timmy's Sea Adventure is aimed at children 4 to 10 which is a fairly wide age range to cover. Children at the higher end, especially experienced players, might well feel that the adventuring component is too easy, and younger players will need some parental advice periodically to keep them moving along. It is all mouse controlled with the pink fish acting as the cursor and leading Timmy through the game. Its various postures or antics say whether or not there is something to do or somewhere to go, and it swims in tight circles when there is something of interest to collect so there's little chance of missing inventory items. The whole interface is very simple, including saving and loading. There is an option for controlling sound and music volume but there are no subtitles for hard of hearing children. A quick warning here, there's also no option for disabling the printer. I accidentally printed a page before I took the option of manually disconnecting the printer.

Timmy's first adventure really is a charming little game. It's quite reminiscent of the Freddi Fish adventures although it has a larger activity/game component and a story that is correspondingly shorter with fewer story related challenges. Maybe it doesn't reach the same heights as Freddi (some of the challenges could have been more sophisticated with more dialogue to back them up) but there's certainly plenty to keep young players busy and thinking about their strategy, and they should have a lot of fun hunting down the wayward plug.

Timmy's Sea Adventure is on one CD, which also has a bonus painting 'surprise' along with demos for Timmy's other games. There's no printed manual in the package only a Windows document on the disk. This document or manual introduces the game and its characters and provides step by step hints for completing the game. rating:  

Copyright © Rosemary Young 2002. All rights reserved.

System Requirements:
Pentium 166 (faster processor recommended), Windows 95/98/NT4 and up/2000, 32 MB RAM, 10MB on the hard drive, 16 bit sound card, CD-ROM x 8 or faster (24 recommended), Graphic card with 16 Bit color.