🐳 29 years ago: The Elder Scrolls: Arena was released!

Seaman

[ All ] [ Dreamcast ] [ PlayStation 2 ]

Critic Reviews 76% add missing review

Gaming Target (9.3 out of 10)

If you're looking for something that will last forever, then Seaman is definitely your title. However, Seaman isn't for everyone. In fact, most people probably wont give it the fair shot it deserves, but if you're open minded and looking for something new, by all means get this game. Plus the microphone is just so cool!

Sep 21st, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

Power Unlimited (90 out of 100)

Seaman is een angstaanjagende game die het gegeven 'virtual pet' een complete twist geeft. Gelukkig is Seaman een beetje een naar monster, anders was ik écht van 'm gaan houden!

Jul 2001 · Dreamcast

WomenGamers.com (9 out of 10)

There isn't much else I can say about it. Seaman is a game of observation, discovery and the miracles of nature replicated in a digital environment. Unsuspectingly, Seaman is also a game of socialization, self-introspection and can often behave like a digital therapist.

Nov 28th, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

Planet Dreamcast (8.5 out of 10)

Seaman is the single most original title to ever appear on the Dreamcast. While it may seem like there isn't much going on, you simply need to keep giving Seaman a few minutes of your time each day, and you'll be rewarded with a freak show the likes of which you've never seen. Sure, sometimes you can see the man behind the curtain, pulling levers and spinning dials to make the Great and Powerful Oz do his thing. Other times, however, you'll forget that Seaman isn't a real animal at all. That's when you know the game has succeeded.

Aug 22nd, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

HappyPuppy (8.5 out of 10)

Although incredibly entertaining, unique, surprising, and well designed in nearly every respect, Seaman is not perfect, revealing many of the current limitations of voice-recognition software. However revolutionary it may be, this is a baby step toward a new form of gaming which is destined to improve. You'll have an easier time holding the attention of a six-year-old during an episode of Teletubbies than maintaining a genuine conversation with Seaman. But you'll be amazed at some of the things he responds to, and dismayed by some of the things that he doesn't. It's a quantum leap beyond Tamagotchi, but there's still much room for evolution in the world of virtual pets.

Aug 8th, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

IGN (8.3 out of 10)

These are amazing creatures, but they are not quite human. Yet if the most is made of every moment of the Seaman's life, they may become as much alive as you and I ever will be.

Aug 8th, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

Gamer's Pulse (83 out of 100)

I had a really pleasant experience with Seaman, and would encourage anyone who wants a challenge (more than hand-eye coordination or reflex related) to check this game out and give it a shot. It may or may not be available for rent in your area, but if so, you should take the opportunity to play Seaman on a trial basis for a day or so before committing to go through the full monty, if I may put it that way. For your enjoyment, I have included some strategies for playing Seaman below this review, and I hope that you will find them useful in your endeavors. Note that the strategies contain spoilers, so if you want a fresh experience with Seaman, skip the rest of this article.

Sep 14th, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

neXGam (8.1 out of 10)

Interessant, innovativ, kurios und auch lustig. Vier Gründe, die schon einmal für den Kauf des Spieles sprechen! Ihr werdet euch genauso wie ich täglich auf den Titel stürzen und einen SmallTalk mit Seaman führen wollen. Zwingend sind gute Englischkenntnisse, ohne die sich das Spiel unmöglich spielen lässt, da es sich um einen US-Import handelt. Wer auf eine PAL-Version wartet, sollte sich keine großen Hoffnungen darum machen, da Seaman aller Voraussicht nach nicht den Weg nach Europa finden wird. Schade eigentlich.

2002 · Dreamcast · read review

Game Informer Magazine (8 out of 10)

This relatively short playtime and iffy voice recognition are the biggest areas where Seaman shows his years. While the environment is seriously bland, the creature himself is serviceably lifelike and his daily evolution is interesting enough to revist. Nintendogs might be the first time that this brand of voice recognition has really worked as intended, but Seaman is a surreal adventure with a certain brand of humor that is rarely achieved today.

Nov 2005 · Dreamcast

Video Games (8 out of 10)

Seaman ist ein so außergewöhnliches Game, dass wir eine generelle Kaufempfehlung eigentlich nicht aussprechen können, jedoch stellt es für Freakware-Sammler und experimentierfreudige Spieler definitiv einen Pflichtkauf dar.

Sep 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

Game industry News (GiN) ( )

I'll admit though, it's not much to look at. Graphics are very simple, just an aquarium and terrarium, and the inhabitants. But still it's the overall surrealistic experience that makes Seaman a blast. It should be mentioned though that Seaman should be taken in small doses, as it requires a lot of waiting and watching otherwise. He should be treated the same way Tamagotchis were in 1997; keep a close eye on him but you don't need to watch him for hours on end. As another one of Sega's unique experiences, Seaman scores 4 out of 5 gems. I only wish other companies could take chances like this instead of their usual repetition.

2000 · Dreamcast · read review

Defunct Games (75 out of 100)

Personally, I'll stick with Nintendogs. They are far cuter and have a higher success rate as far as understanding commands are concerned. For the time, though, it was surprisingly sophisticated, and was one of the most unique gaming experiences on the market.

Sep 11th, 2005 · Dreamcast · read review

GamersMark (7 out of 10)

This game will provide a unique expirience to any gamer that plays it, well, except maybe those fine folks at Area 51 that are used to raising fish-men, anyways, this is a strange game from Vivarium that deserves to be in any DC-gamer’s library.

Dec 18th, 2001 · Dreamcast · read review

GameSpot (6.6 out of 10)

Visual issues aside, though, Seaman is a good game, provided you don't burn yourself out on it. If you haven't got an hour a day over the course of six weeks to invest or happen to own actual living pets, Seaman's gameplay may seem boring and unoriginal. However, the voice recognition aspect is innovative and does much to alleviate these issues. Still, the game needs more activities and less preaching before it's truly ready for prime time. Good? Yes. Innovative? Sure. Worthy of the same praise as Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, and Virtua Tennis? No.

Aug 8th, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

The Video Game Critic (C)

Besides talking to Seaman, you can also place items in the tank, tap on the glass, "flick" Seaman, and even pick him up. The controls are awkward however, and there's not much to do on any given day. But for a few minutes a day, Seaman is actually an interesting experiment.

Aug 31st, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

Just Adventure (C)

Probably the sickest feature of this game is watching the Seaman mating process. I felt like I had walked in on my parents. Once a Seaman evolves into a Podfish—a fish with arms and legs—it will mate and later lay eggs that will spawn a new generation of Seamen.

2001 · Dreamcast · read review

The Next Level (USA) (C)

While my impressions have been derived from a week's worth of play, it’s pretty easy to conclude that Seaman isn’t necessarily a game to place on your "must have" list, unless you just REALLY can’t do without a digital pet, or just want a game to mellow out to. Seaman is worthy of a rental, but everyone but the hardcore digital pet-raisers will want to rent this before even thinking about a purchase, just in case they don’t like the taste of Seaman (come on, you knew I was going to make that joke somewhere).

Oct 13th, 2000 · Dreamcast · read review

Player Reviews

Fun while it lasts
by Sam Vicchrilli (16)

The Good
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.

The Bad
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.

Dec 14th, 2005 · Dreamcast

Frustrated and depressed.
by Trixter (9109)

The Good
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.

The Bad
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!!

Apr 21st, 2005 · Dreamcast

Plus 21 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Wizo, vedder, Jeanne, Alsy, RhYnoECfnW, Riemann80, Big John WV, Maner76.