Set deep beneath the surface of the oceans in a place swarming with deadly aquatic life where Skip dives for treasure and you dive for the joystick to try to stay alive. It's one of those arcade games where the player can never relax and has to concentrate the whole time.
The sea bed is a horizontally-scrolling, wraparound area split into four levels by seaweed-coated platforms. Skip the diver starts on the top level and can move between them by descending or ascending through gaps in the platforms. When he moves, the whole display scrolls somewhat jerkily keeping Skip in the middle of the screen.
Skip has to collect objects that are either lying around on the platforms or swimming along one level. The two objects to be picked up on the first level are a spongey-looking creature called Cute and a sailor. He picks them up by swimming into them and once he has both is flipped to the next level.
Two things endanger skip on this level: sharks and little fish. The sharks are large blue monsters with enormous mouths and teeth which swim along and home in on Skip when he appears on their level. The fish don't home in but, like the sharks, move faster than you do. If you run into a shark it swallows poor Skip in gruesome fashion, licking its lips and bulging its eyeballs. The fish are less decorous but just as deadly.
The marine menace can be removed by shooting them with harpoons but they will keep on appearing elsewhere to chase you. The objects you're searching for can also be shot so watch out this will lose a life. When the sharks are hit they crumble into a skeleton. Combined with their eating habits, this is the best part of the game.
On later levels, even more dangers appear. The sharks are swapped for octopi and then crabs (which turn into crab pate when shot) while an additional danger is introduced in the form of Neptune. He wanders along the platforms and can change levels when he stops, banging his trident on the floor. It takes six shots to destroy him and even then he will reappear at another position in the game.
Skippy also has a problem in that he has a limited air supply in which to collect the objects. If he succeeds this will be transferred into bonus points. It's basically a panic game, similar in gameplay to Don't Panic from Firebird, and although it has some nice graphics and a jolly soundtrack, it won't stretch most players much.
The odd clever touch and the odd stroke of wit were no compensation for the dull gameplay. A game like this has got to be much bigger and a whole lot better to succeed these days. Frankly, I'd rather go fishing.
P. Some nice graphics like the shark.
P. Demanding "panic" gameplay.
N. Not much to think about.
N. Repetitive gameplay.
N. Not enough depth or variety to the game.