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I discovered Dolphin Island on the DS purely by mistake. Everyone in my household knows I love dolphins, and this was given to me a kind of joke present just after Christmas. Looking at the cover of the game I thought Dolphin Island was aimed at children, and so did my OH which is why he got it for me. How wrong we both were!
** The aim of the game **
Dolphin Island is a strategy game where you have to look after an animal park for your uncle. You can choose to play as a boy or girl, and depending on which you choose they will have different abilities to help you.
There are 40 different missions in the game, and each one will require you to do one task such as feeding the animals. The task is explained to you at the beginning of the day, and it will also be explained if you haven't done a chore before.
The general aim is to complete the missions and keep the park running well.
At the start of the game, you will have a couple of animals in your care, and as each day progresses there will be another animal or perhaps more. The game then gets longer between each save station the further you get through the game as it's only saved at the end of each day.
The good thing here is that you decide when the end of each day is once you have completed your daily mission. If you choose not to go and feed all the animals then that's fine and you can move on.
There will be a catch. A secret sector of the animal police known as the Wazzits arrive in your park on Day 3 to let you know that unless you keep everything in order then they can close your park down.
There will be certain times in the game you will need to increase your points (which don't count for anything except ensuring you can complete the game). Points are awarded for every item you complete, such as feeding an animal, the quicker you do it the more points you get.
** Feeding the animals **
All animals in the park will need to be fed every day regardless of whether it's your mission to do so. Once your mission is completed it will then advise you to take care of all the animals and make sure the park is running smoothly.
Feeding the animals can be done by clicking on their home with your stylus and then a panel of nine different food items will appear. As each one flashes at you, you have to remember the order they flash before dragging the item down to the bucket at the bottom as quickly as you can. There are generally only three or four items in each set for you to remember.
** Healing sick animals **
Very often the animals will need pills to keep them healthy, and you will notice this by seeing a pill icon above an animal's head. Healing them is done in a similar way to feeding, but this time the panel of nine different items will flash randomly and your job is to tap the stylus against the correct flashing picture quickly before it moves on to the next.
** Clearing rubbish **
Being by the sea, there is a lot of rubbish that floats in and rest in the animal pools. This needs clearing to stop the animals becoming ill by dragging the stylus over the floating rubbish and guiding them into the net provided.
** Healing sick animals **
Sometimes when animals arrive at the park they need special care. This can be done by using special liquid provided for you and once you guide the animal over to the edge of their enclosure using the stylus you can then heal them as quickly as possible.
** Training **
Some of the animals need to be trained, and you will practice this early on in the game for the later shows. This is done by using the stylus and following the on screen instructions.
** Controls **
You will play the majority of the game using the stylus, and occasionally the buttons. The controls are easy to control, but I found that a fair amount of pressure needs to be applied in certain games to make the touch screen recognise what you are asking the game to do for you.
** Game play **
When I first started playing this game, I thought it was going to be too easy, but as each level progress I have realised that it's not that easy and it's definitely not aimed at just children to play.
To ensure you complete the game you will have to feed, care for and clear the rubbish from every pool. This gets more and more the further you progress into the game, therefore making each section longer.
I have found that above makes it a game you have to be able to spend time on, as you will lose progress otherwise.
Overall I have found myself getting addicted to this game that was bought for me as a joke. I like looking through the fact sheets that become available on each different animal, which is great for kids to learn how to care for animals and learn about their habitat.
My partner paid £14.99 for this game and it has provided hours of entertainment for me, and I will probably pass it onto my daughter if and when I ever complete it.
As a young boy or girl, you're sent to work into your Uncle's Marine Zoo as a summer job. The park is located on a tropical island but the place is in danger, as a multi-national real estate company plans to wipe the park out of the map to construct a luxury hotel. To save the park, the player will have to take care of the animals, tame them for the entertaining shows and manage the whole park. He will learn mission per mission to love, tame, respect & understand the animals as well as better know the local ecosystem to save it.