Far, far under the sea, there's an entirely different world: a world inhabited by many strange creatures. One of these creatures is Johnnie, a little squid whose world is about to be perished. The recent earthquakes have isolated him from the rest of the sea. The accessible area's unable to provide enough food for its inhabitants, so famine's around. To top it all off, a giant fish called Iron Head and his subordinate Monk took control of the food supplies, but greedily swallow up major parts of it.
This's where you start. You begin as a weak squid, only on level zero, and with the big task of rescuing those around you. On this journey, you'll meet alot of interesting people and gain items that'll increase your chances of success.
Once you've gained the first item, you're able to actually get into the game. Before you have the dunce cap, you won't be able to attack and the only way to gain experience and thus new levels, is by eating the blue fish that's scattered around the place. There's a very limited amount of these, though, due to the famine, so it's best to get your dunce cap as soon as possible and hit the game.
To play the game, you'll require nothing more than a left and a right cursor and a Z and an S key. Pressing the Z button makes you swim upwards, while releasing it makes you sink down. The left and right keys'll make you move in those directions, while the S key'll bring up the inventory screen. These controls give something of a feeling of Moonlander to the game and puts a special character into it, not to mention that it adds some challenge and fun.
Music and sound are outstanding and give the game the same feeling as early console games. There're not many different songs, but those that're there won't get boring. They simply do what they have to do: fill up the silence in the background and add some atmosphere to the game. In general, it adds a happy-go-lucky feeling, but whenever something drastic happens, it'll get accentuated by the accompanying music.
The graphics look like they could've jumped right out of your TV while playing on your NES. They've captured the charm of those old 8-bit games, yet still look good to current standards. The colourful creatures and surroundings will put a smile on your face as you sit back while letting it all engulph you.
This game has a flaw though. Due to the game being made in Japanese, it's quite hard to understand what's going on and you'd tend to get stuck pretty easy (I know I did) A person called Caiman translated Ikachan to English, but it's rather quirky, with weird text and with the occasional nonsensical line of text. All in all, it does what it should, though: helping the player figure out what to do next and making the basic plot clear. Answering Yes and No's still in Japanese, too, so it's far from a full translation. Those who know Japanese could make a better translation based on the current one, though. All they have to do, is open up event.ptx, along with the original version of that file (which's included as well) in Notepad and edit it that way.
All in all, Ikachan's a fun little game, perfect for non-gamers that're looking for a quick challenge and for trained gamers that want to have something decent to fill up a calm evening with.
Review by: Raf