LGR – Odell Down Under – PC Game Review

LGR – Odell Down Under – PC Game Review

[theme music] [fizz, sip] Aahhh! Have you ever wanted to be a fish? Please don’t answer that question. If the rhetorical answer to the rhetorical question is yes, then Odell Down Under may just be the game for you. Odell Down Under by MECC came out in 1996 for the Macintosh, as well as Windows 3.1. It was billed as an educational or perhaps “edutainment” game, geared mostly at elementary or primary school kids. Pretty simplistic but it’s got its own values, so let’s get right to it. [MIDI calypso music] Oh, that music is so cheery, it’s disgusting. Presented with a few game options: Challenge, Tournament, Create-A-Fish and Practice. Click on the instructions here. And that pretty much just
tells you how to play the game. Challenge is where you pick a fish, start with a smallish fish and… get bigger. Tournament is basically the same thing, except that it goes longer. Create-A-Fish is where you create your own fish, much like in Maxis’ game El-Fish. And Practice is just that. You pick a fish and live in the ocean for a while. The entire game is played with the mouse. You click things to interact with the environment and move the mouse to move. Simple enough. It doesn’t really give you much
more information than that. I’m gonna go straight into the Practice here. The entire point of the game is sort of
as a science experiment type of thing where you go around after picking your fish from a rather extensive list here. And then try to decide what they need to eat, what they can’t eat, which enemies it has, what its astrological sign is, what its
favorite color is, that kind of thing. You can be everything from
a lion fish up to a great white or even a cuddle fish, which is a squid, basically, so… Some of them have special abilities like the electric eel’s ability to electrify things. So you can pick a fish. I’ve picked the nastiest fish I can find here. And you pretty much just go around the screen, clicking on things, seeing if you can eat it. Yay! Shrimp is one of my favorite foods. In case you couldn’t tell from the title, the game does in fact take
place in the Great Barrier Reef, or somewhere around such parts. In Australia. There’s a lot of subtle little things about the game too,
which are really entertaining. Like the fact that when you eat something or
something gets eaten, you see a little “Arrgh!” animation pop up from where the fish or creature died. That’s a nice touch. Could have used some blood-curdling screams, though. Quite a bit of animated wildlife all around. The colors and graphic detail in the game are rather impressive, too. Both on the PC and the Mac. Again, this is Practice Mode– SOULFUL VOICE:
Practice mode… LGR:
So there’s not much really to do except practice. You have an energy bar at the bottom. Try to keep that from getting too low or your fish’ll slow to a… slower rate. And your health bar, which you
will of course need to keep up, or else your fish will die. There’s also day and night cycles, but it doesn’t really seem to affect the look of the game, only when your fish is active
and when other fish are active, so you’ll need to match that up
with your fish and your prey. There’s an interesting Metroid-style map system at the very bottom-left of the screen, too, showing where in the reef you are. It’s all fun and games. No real harm done, except when
you happen to come across something that will kill you, like those darn lyretail coral trouts. Most of the time, it’ll come out of nowhere and you really won’t know what happened, except that you can’t play anymore. Let’s go into Create-A-Fish here.
I really like this mode. It’s a little less in-depth than the create-a-fish mode in El-Fish, but in a way, it’s even more
detailed because you can really see how these things apply to a fish in real life, in a way. You can name the fish anything you want.
You can give it special abilities. You could change the size of it. This is all done sort of in a role-
playing points system type of way. You can choose when it’s active–
day or night–as well as the color of the fish. And then these little sliders at the top,
Speed, Endurance and Agility, affect the shape of your fish. So that’s really interesting, I think, to see how that works. Depending on whether you have
a fast fish or a not-so-fast fish. You’ll get some very, very different variations. This is actually quite entertaining to play around with. You could effectively make a superfish
that can eat anything except sharks. Oh, and watch out for those cluster anemones. There’s a lot of fish that can’t eat those. A strange aspect of the game is getting points. You wouldn’t think a game like this
would have a point system necessarily, but is rather welcome and does add a little bit of challenge and
spices things up here and there, especially in the first two game modes. You start out as a smaller fish and
work your way up the food chain. Your score goes up the longer you stay alive and in order to stay alive you
have to keep your health up, as well as avoid getting eaten and eat the right things. It’s actually a lot harder than it sounds. Often times you’ll have a fish that
can only eat things like plankton, and because of the sharp detailed graphics of the game, you can’t see them very well. Especially if you have a smaller monitor or something very high resolution on a bigger monitor, which makes the game tiny. Little things like worms and tiny shrimp and stuff too
are a little bit harder to see. So that’s really my only complaint
as far as the graphics go. It’s just that sometimes things are too small It runs in a very small window in Windows 3.1, so that’s kind of the problem there. In this mode here, once you get enough points, you progress to the next level with the next fish. And it just keeps on going on and on until you’ve quote-unquote “beat” the game. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the things to avoid and the things to eat, you can really breeze through this in probably
15 or 20 minutes at the most. I don’t really know why I enjoy this game at all, because really, it’s so shallow. Pun not intended. There really isn’t a whole lot to do,
and even though there are a lot of fish, they all basically feel the same. I mean, they’re fish. Some are a little faster than others, yes, but… it really just leaves a little bit of something to be desired. And even the Create-A-Fish mode is still lacking because you can only really create
about six different looks of fish. Even though the attributes can change a good bit, eh, it’s just kind of there as… sort of a sideshow attraction. Unlike El-Fish, where that was
basically the entire point of the game was to make these incredibly
varied, crazy-looking fish. Eventually, one you get tired of this, you’ll just choose the great white shark as the fish to be and go around eating everything, even other great white sharks. [munching sounds] You can even eat the plants, the sponges,
the other fish that you can’t eat. It doesn’t matter, you can pretty
much just inhale and ingest and digest everything. And there’s really no negative aspects to it. So the great white shark is just… like a cheat. Odell Down Under is an enjoyable game for maybe 30 minutes at best,
if you’ve never played it before. It’s not exactly easy to find, either,
especially the disk version. I’ve only seen one of these show up on eBay in years. The CD-ROM version that was
released later is a little more common, and you can still find it on Amazon.com for under $10, but it’s really not incredibly worth that and you can find it on a lot of
old game download sites like C-DOS or even the Macintosh Garden, I think. So if you’re in the mood for a few
minutes of something very different from almost any other game out there, might wanna look at Odell Down Under. It’s incredibly simple, and that is its attraction as well as its downfall. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going
back to playing Dragon Age: Origins.

100 thoughts on “LGR – Odell Down Under – PC Game Review

  1. It's from Extreme Rock Climbing, actually. LGR did a review of it. 😉

    Yes Moto Racer 1 & 2 are part of my 3DFX Voodoo-related awesome memories too. ^^

  2. Why do you have almost 90k subscribers but only 18k in views? Shouldn't true fans watch everything religiously.

  3. Man, this video is the one that got me to subscribe. I remember when you only had something like a hundred subs and me thinking "why the hell isn't this guy more popular?". I guess a lot of people thought that, cuz you do pretty well now! Keep up the good work, Clint.

  4. Phreakindee, did you know there was a prequel to this on the Apple II called Odell lake? Certainly not as memorable, but it's work checking out if you want to see what inspired this gem in edutainment.

  5. After 48 hours straight, that "Practice MODE!" thing is starting to crack me up a little too hard, a little too late.

  6. Yeah I was just starting to think this, looks to be happening with a lot of the channels I watch right now, while really neutered personalities get a lot of attention (no offense to anyone).

  7. OMG I REMEMBERED PLAYING THIS AT MY SCHOOL'S COMPUTERS! My sister and I usually used The Great White Shark because it can eat everything.

  8. I'm pretty sure I played this game back in elementary school on a Mac. But I agree DAO is waaaay better omg there was not enough content in that game. I wish it never ended. Too bad EA totally botched DA2. Although the combat, at least for mages, was decent. Long live Ferelden!

  9. I found this game by the comments, so I will write details here for others to find: Odell Down Under, a 90's CD ROM game by MECC, where you are a fish and eat larger and larger fish. There is a shark, grouper, unicornfish, barracuda etc., hide behind a plant or in a cave, and you can create a fish in green, pink, yellow, red or blue and give it skills such as speed, agility and endurance.. When you eat something it says aargh! You can eat coral, sponge, shrimp, snails and other fish. It was released in 1993 and 1996. Hope you all enjoy the memories!

  10. Yeah I used to spend some time with this game back in the past.
    I had some fun playing this, even though it's pretty simple game.
    If you want to kill few minutes, then is isn't that bad of choice for that.

  11. There was a much older version of this game called Odell Lake or something like that. I remember playing it on an Apple 2 when I was a kid in the schools computer lab.

  12. I used to play this in elementary school in computer class on their (then current) Macintosh systems. Bringing back some fond memories! I used to rack my brain to figure out just what the hell a crustacean was, and why my fish does not like to eat them!

  13. To be honest I'd love a (semi accurate) life series where you could see the life of an animal get told,

  14. There are some educational games from this era that I CANNOT remember the names to and it is kind of driving me insane in the back of my mind. Ok, I'm already kind of insane. But really. Its not like… zoombeenies… or something. Fuck. One where you're like, a dog, I think…. someone plz halp

  15. This is a really fun little game. I definitely see it with nostalgia goggles on, but I still think it's pretty cool regardless. As a kid, I wasn't a very skilled gamer, so I wound up mostly just being the Great White in Practice mode like you were saying, because whenever I tried to legit play the game, I always died and it made me sad and that's no fun. I still have the CD lying around somewhere with all my other old PC games. I'll have to dig it up some time, it's been years since I played it. Hearing the menu music made me smile.

  16. I've asked my friends "Do you remember that game from elementary school where you play as a fish?" and they looked at me like I was crazy. Thank you for posting this video and helping me prove that this game really exists.

  17. Man this was one of my favorite games as a kid, I think I got the disc from some cereal box. I would spend hours just eating things as the great white shark

  18. Wow this is an old video. Clint, if you ever run out of old games to review you can always go back and review these old vids. Then in 20 years from then review those reviews. You'll never run out of material!

  19. I remember 2 games like this but different, both were either C64 or Apple II games maybe Amega, I forget but simpler graphics. One like this, was a fish sim game were you had to eat or not eat certain things the other was Land animals where you could be a bear or mouse or deer or fox or whatever else. But I forget there names. any ideas?

  20. I remember this back when I was in Elementary School, this was one of my favorites next to Kid Pix, BugDom, and The Oregon Trail.

  21. I remember making a super fish that could definitely eat great whites. Couldn't eat giant clams though. I think that was the one food I could never eat.

  22. This is the more advanced version of Odell lake game that I played along with the Oregon trail elementary school on the Apple classic 2 and Apple Macintosh 1 .

  23. After almost a decade of searching I finally got the box for the game!
    Almost thought I just imagined seeing it as a kid since I couldn't even find photos, but nope 🙂

  24. 8 years later and I found like 10 copies on ebay of it. Funny how things like that happen. You would think it was even more scarce.

  25. Hey, I remember this game. It was installed on all the school computers and I played it constantly whenever the teacher would let us. I never could beat challenge mode, if only because there was so little time.

  26. Of all your quirky game videos, this one stuck with me the most. I have to own this some day.

  27. This theme song has been stuck in my head since 1st grade. I haven't even seen this game since then. I'm 22 and I could play this song by memory.

  28. Whoa, its updated Odell Lake. Cool! I played the shit out of Odell Lake as a kid but didnt know this existed, think by the time it came out I woulda been a teenager and not interested. But now I want to track it down.

  29. Aaaaand where, then, is your review of El-Fish ?
    Come on, you can't make our mouths watery with the salty anticipation of a superfish simulator and then not deliver! :O

  30. I remember at the local aquarium they had this game and a couple other fish related games on display on an old Mac and my friends and I would always play this when we were there on school trips

  31. It's boring for an adult, but as a kid I could enjoy it for more than 30 minutes. Since it's a game made for children it doesn't have to be more complex than this. And it serves well it's educational purpose. You can learn a lot about fish food chain. The Create a Fish mode is great for understanding how different traits evolved to serve different life styles. It's basically a game about marine ecosystems.

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