Steel Diver is a Nintendo 3DS video game. Originally shown off in 2004 as a Nintendo DS tech demo, Steel Diver was later revived after many years for the system's successor. In the game, the player controls a submarine. The game received mixed reviews.
The game takes place sometime in the 1900s (the game simply states 19xx) when a nation that thirsts for power begins invading its neighbors. The player takes on the role of a master submarine driver who plans to stop the invading nation from taking over the world.
The game is controlled on the touch screen, which is made to look like the control panel of a submarine. The player uses the touch screen to direct submarines through several different ocean locations, with the majority of the action taking place on the top screen. Each level features different paths that the player can choose to take and enemies that fire missiles. In the Missions mode, players can use the touch screen's interface to control several different aspects of the submarine, from the speed, depth, pitch, and offensive measures. Once the submarine is damaged by an opposing force, players will have to plug the leaks by using the touch screen. In Time Attack Mode, players are required to get through the level within a set time. Periscope Strike is another mode that has the player seeing through a first person perspective. Unlike the Mission mode, Periscope Mode's camera can be move by rotating the 3DS (which utilizes its built in gyroscope). Tapping the touch screen in this mode will fire torpedoes down the center. Finally, Steel Commander is the game's two-player, local multiplayer game. This is extremely different from the other modes and plays like a tactical strategy game where players must move their ships and submarines in the ideal location and subsequently attack the opposing force. Once they find an opposing player's unit, they enter the Periscope Mode and attack them.
The game's Periscope Mode is sometime criticized as being too much of a hassle, especially in 3D. Because of the need to move the system, the 3D will often get out of focus unless the player moves their body along with the system. Nintendo actually advises customers to move their body along with the 3DS, saying this in an official press release: "The gyro sensor for the Nintendo 3DS system allows players to control the periscope view by rotating their bodies." However, Periscope Strike can be played without rotating the 3DS. Simply use the stylus to rotate the wheel at the bottom of the Touch Screen.
The game's main mode features three different types of playable submarines, including the Manatee ND-01, a sub that has the capability to shoot missiles upwards, the Blue Shark ND-03 which can shoot two missiles, and the Serpent ND-05, which can shoot four missiles, but is more difficult to manuever.
Steel Diver began as a tech demo for the Nintendo DS in 2004 simply titled "Submarine". Shigeru Miyamoto explained that the project never went anywhere, and has been in "development" for six years, eventually being revealed once more at Nintendo's E3 2010 showing for the Nintendo 3DS.
Steel Diver got "mixed or average" reviews on Metacritic receiving a metascore of 58/100 based on 55 critic reviews.