Dolphin Spirit – Ocean Mission is a fun edutainment ecological adventure that doesn’t work the best on Switch

One thing I still hear far too often is how games negatively influence the younger generation.

Sure, there’s violent games out there filled with blood and brutality, but to generalise and say that describes every single game is so offensively untrue.

Just this year, in fact, we’ve had the wonderful T’chia, a game inspired by the remote New Caledonia, which is filled with diversity and exploration. Chants of Senaar, a game all about the unifying of cultures, And similar to the game I’m about to talk about, Under the Waves, which goes in heavily on ecology and meteorology.

You just need to know where to look if you want to find games that teach powerful, important messages. And while Dolphin Spirit – Ocean Mission is a bit heavy-handed in its approach on occasion, the themes of recycling, waste pickup, encouraging wildlife to return to natural habitats and taking the time to learn more about the world is exceptionally important.

Our world is suffering and it’s important for younger players to be aware of what’s happening in other parts of the world and even on their own doorstep. Games like this feed into those experiences.

It’s not a perfect fit on Switch between chugging frame rate and pixelated graphics, but this game still manages to dazzle you with its beautiful oceans and enables you to get swept up in its seaside town with the cawing effects of birds and the whistle of the wind.

The game has you bouncing between characters and areas pretty frequently, one minute freeing a dolphin from a net, the next taking photos of birds and picking up recycling. Activities do get repetitive, in all honesty, and the game is a bit of a grind, but as it’s still on the relatively short side, nothing outstays its welcome for very long.

It builds up just enough so you have enough activities to do in each area and there’s a decent blend and mix of land and sea activity.

Looking at your environment, you can learn a lot about the creatures residing there by taking photos of them, as well landmarks and examining important cultural landmarks. After interacting with them in the world, the game then provides elaborate, relatively detailed descriptions that inform you about environmentally friendly processes and practices like sustainable fishing.

The educational element is surprisingly detailed and helps fill some gaps in game, breaking up the activities. Between picking up rubbish and healing creatures, you find yourself quickly getting into a routine which really walks the line of being formulaic and predictable. But it’s also just compelling enough to keep you invested.

Getting around using the map is nigh on impossible, with the UI a bit of a waste of time, especially on the Switch screen It all comes across as overly small and is made up of a poor UI which doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense. Fortunately, everything’s fairly easy to access and get around, though there is a lot of backtracking.

Still, this game is worth a look if you want to teach younglings about the wider world and the things happening within it.


Dolphin Spirit – Ocean Mission offers an infectious, important message, the game is calming and relaxing enough to just play casually, and it’s a nice easy going game you can breeze through pretty quick. You can even ride on a dolphin! It’s not always great, it doesn’t play the best on Switch and is a bit of a throwaway experience, but there’s still quite a lot to take and draw from it.


+ Charming style with an interesting cast
+ Lots of edutainment and great factoids
+ You can ride a dolphin


– Switch port is a bit ropey with performance and pixelation
– Map and UI is genuinely forgettable
– Lots of backtracking and repetitive game loop

Dolphin Spirit – Ocean Mission is out now on all formats

Code Kindly Provided by Microids for review purposes

Tested on Switch

About the author

Sally Willington

Sally is relatively new to gaming since a newfound addiction to Nintendo Switch. Now they just can't stop playing, anything and everything. Sally especially loves a good RPG and thinks that Yuna may just be one of her favourite characters ever.
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