Going by the box, Steel Diver looked a bit of a strange game and, honestly, it is. A side-scrolling submarine game for Nintendo's recently-released 3DS handheld console, it puts you in the role of Cap'n, charged with piloting several different specifications of tub on stealthy missions.
The top screen makes good use of the underwater environment, with schools of fish, lots of bubbles, depth charges and the occasional enemy sub. The lower screen has your standard controls - forward and reverse, surface and dive, pitch control, torpedo countermeasures and a tap-and-zoom map of the watery surrounds.
Once you've powered your way through each level, you get to the most fun part - holding the 3DS up in front you; it acts as a periscope and you turn it to rotate the scope. Surface ships and other enemies try to take you out as up as you dispatch as many torpedoes as you can. This is a very engaging gameplay and excellent use of the accelerometer and 3D.
The difficulty curve is pretty impressive - it starts off reasonably easy, but gets wildly frustrating, with extremely subtle movements making the difference between victory and a soggy demise on the sea floor. An entertaining title that proves sidescrollers are alive and well, and a bit of thought into how the device can be used in gameplay can radically increase the fun level.
Platform: Nintendo 3DS