Description official description
Ever want to raise your own pet, starting with nothing but a tiny egg? How about raise him to be a smart-mouthed, viper-tongued companion who listens to you and gives you a dose of smart-ass advice? Look no further than the lab of Dr. Jean Paul Gassé, who left you a few eggs from the mysterious creature known as the Seaman. Now you've got the chance to raise your very own Seaman. Talk to him, tickle him, feed him...just don't rub him the wrong way, or you'll end up with an angry pet and a big headache.
- 人面鱼SEAMAN - Chinese spelling (simplified)
- 禁斷的寵物 - Japanese spelling
Credits (Dreamcast version)
65 People (50 developers, 15 thanks) · View all
|U.S. Development Director|
|U.S. Script Programming|
|Casting And Recording||
|Assistant Test Leads|
|Assistants To Mr. Seaman (Jellyvision, Inc.)|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 75% (based on 18 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 26 ratings with 2 reviews)
A high-tech tamaguchi that comes with a microphone, Seaman asks you questions and parses your responses. It remembers everything you tell it, and alters its conversations accordingly. Some of the responses are insightful; others are philosophical; still others are funny.
The opening narration and ongoing commentary from Leonard Nemoy hits just the right note for the game.
There are little touches here and there that you wouldn't normally expect. For example, if you interrupt Leonard Nemoy's daily opening comments by hitting Start, he coughs, or sputters, or says "oh, well..." or something equally unexpected.
Completely unannounced anywhere in the game or manual is that in-game time is drastically sped up from "saved game" time. I took a nap with the game unpaused, and when I woke up he was dead due to "lack of care". This is a direct contradiction from "saved game" time, where you can save the game and come back up to 3 days later and he is still alive, waiting for care. For having put a 2-month investment (real calendar time!) into the game, to say that I am a little frustrated and angry is a gross understatement.
The voice recognition is good for a console game, but not great compared to real world applications.
The Bottom Line
If you like tamaguchis, you'll like Seaman. Just remember to never ever leave the game unpaused!!
Dreamcast · by Trixter (8947) · 2005
I'm writing this review the day of my Seaman's death. I haven't visited him yet today, but I know he's going to die because yesterday he told me how he was starving and well, I'm all out of food.
So this review is more of an elegy to my soon to be dearly departed Seaman.
Seaman was born a few weeks ago in the tank of some fellow named Gassee. When I found him, he was a fart of a tadpole lurking within the shell of a hermit crab.
Once into this world, I cared for him as one of my own.
The first part of the game has you taking care of tadpoles who can't really speak except a few nonsense words - just like real children who try to communicate. Within a few days, however, he becomes talkative.
Most of the game is you chatting with your Seaman, answering his questions and listening to him pontificate about physical activity, dating, God, video games and many facets of human behavior.
I really enjoyed talking with him and looked forward to a daily visit, as the game requires. Besides talking, there are other chores such as cleaning the tank, feeding the Seaman (which becomes tricky - it's the reason I failed to finish the game), and helping him to evolve.
My seaman had become a frogman before I ran out of food.
The game surprised me at many turns. Besides being completely original (oh, sure, we had Tamagotchi before Seaman, but those were silent black lines - Seaman is a fish with a human head, extensive vocabulary, and working knowledge of how humans act), Seaman is built with a large database of information that tailors the game to you.
I liked how when you picked Seaman up he would gripe. I liked his smart-alec answers to questions like "How old are you" him - "Why, do you want to ask me out?"
I played on Nov. 22 and Seaman knew that was the day Kennedy was shot.
Where so many games are variations on a theme (mostly a shootin' theme), it was nice to spend 10 to 15 minutes everyday making a virtual friend and being presented with tasks beyond point, shoot, run.
The graphics are simple but effective, and the presentation is great at creating a virtual world. I never doubted that I was actually entering the lab of Dr. Gassee every time I kicked on my Dreamcast. Seaman even knew what day and time it was.
I could have use a little more guidance in how to procure enough food for my fishy friend. I ran out simply because I was not warned to make one simple step (SPOILER WARNING - Keep at least one slug in the other tank so he can continue to make more slugs). At least I think that's what should be done.
Seaman can be harsh and cranky sometimes which doesn't put you in the mood to play.
The voice activation isn't perfect and oftentimes he doesn't understand what you're saying or misinterprets your words. Several times I put Seaman in a pissy mood because he mistook my "talk" for the f-word.
Replayability is kind of low in my opinion. I've been playing every day for a month and will now have to start over because of one costly mistake. It'll be months before I have the energy to start playing again. But it will be fun to vary my answers.
The Bottom Line
Seaman is a true original. There are many roads to take the virtual pet, and this one takes a challenging yet rewarding path. The game isn't perfect, it has voice-recognition issues and is unforgiving, but having a virtual friend never felt so right.
I'd recommend it over Nintendogs simply because it's amazing when someone responds to your questions and reacts to your answers. Just make sure you can make time every day to check up on the little fellow and you have an attention-span longer that the average TV commercial.
Dreamcast · by Sam Vicchrilli (15) · 2005
1001 Video Games
The Dreamcast version of Seaman appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Related Sites +
Video review of Seaman (Warning: Language!)
The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, reviews Seaman for the Dreamcast.
- MobyGames ID: 5545
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.
PlayStation 2 added by Kabushi.
Game added December 20th, 2001. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.