Seagull and Dolphin The Volcano Up in the Clouds Down in the Ocean Depths The Coral Reef Maze The Mermaid Cage
"I will begin by saying that this game makes a decent zoner and that's about it. This appears to be Imagic's last game. The accompanying catalog refers to five other games, none of which were ever released. The cart label has no picture, and the manual is only four pages long with no centerfold. Mattel wasn't the only company to cut back prior to the crash.
"The graphics are far and away the best part of the game. The mood is serene, and the scenery is quite nice. The game objective, on the other hand, is unclear. The player begins by flying a seagull over the surface of an ocean. To the east and west are active volcanoes that block further passage, and there are clouds indicating areas where the seagull can fly up to higher screens.
"Up above are clouds and enemy birds. Avoid the other birds and touch the clouds. Touching each cloud earns a few units of health, and touching all the clouds in a certain screen makes a star appear. Upon touching the star, two things appear in the status window: a dolphin icon; and a piece of Neptune's trident. The dolphin icon allows the player to switch control from the seagull to the dolphin upon contact.
"The dolphin must avoid all creatures in the ocean depths with the exception of the schools of purple fish which yield a few units of health when caught. Navigate through the coral reef maze below and capture pink sea horses to earn a seagull icon and another piece of Neptune's trident.
"Control switches back and forth between the seagull and dolphin until all four pieces of Neptune's trident are obtained. Then the dolphin must swim to the very bottom of the ocean where there is a cage with a mermaid trapped inside. Touching the cage with all four pieces of the trident in inventory causes the cage to shatter. When the dolphin touches the mermaid, she swims away, and the number of health units remaining is added to the score. Then the dolphin must swim to the surface and touch the seagull.
"The seagull can now fly over the volcano to the east which is no longer active. Beyond the volcano is... more of the same, only faster and more challenging, with one new enemy sea creature each time to add only slightly to the variety. Repeat the procedure seven times or until health drops to 0 and the game ends. Finish all eight seas to beat the game.
"I have played the Atari 2600 version of this game and can honestly say that this is one of the few games of which I prefer the Atari 2600 version over the Intellivision version. At least in the Atari 2600 version the readout appears at the bottom of the screen and the action moves at a reasonable pace. The Intellivision version is extremely slow-paced, lacking the feeling of action, and the status window is viewed separately from the action screen by pressing the '0' button on the keypad.
"Furthermore, unlike every other Imagic game that I can think of, this one also lacks a difficulty selection, forcing the player to start at the first level each time. The title screen is also unimpressive. Other Imagic games display a pretty picture and usually play a short catchy tune or even play a demo. Here, all that is seen is 'FATHOM' '(C) 1983 IMAGIC' in blue text over a black background for a couple seconds, then the game begins. This game does not deserve the rating that I gave it, but the surreal aspect of the game coupled with nice scenery makes it a decent zoner. Bottom line: 'Don't pay $100 for this game. It isn't worth it.'" Rating: 3/5 -- Mike Hayes
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