Ahoy there, casual gamers. This week, we are heading to the briny deep, the big swell, old Davey Jones's locker, that big, wet thing - the sea.
To be precise, readers, we are taking a big gulp of air, pinching our noses and taking a plunge beneath the waves to a world we know less about than the surface of the moon - and just think, that means there's a chance some of the things we'll see here - drilling, tentacled creatures, psychotic sharks and Olympian dolphins - could all be true and happening under the waves right now.
Although the chances of that are very small indeed. Still, all the more reason to get stuck into our top ten to explore all that the sea might be hiding...but, to be fair, probably isn't.
It might take you some time to actually start Tentadrill as, if you're anything like me, you'll spend a while swooshing back and forth on the title screen marvelling at the water effect. Once you do get under way, there's a splendidly animated story sequence bringing you up to speed before you head off on your side-scrolling quest to do away with the dark creatures that threaten the ocean.
And don't worry - there's plenty more of that spiffy splishy-sploshy effect to be enjoyed. In fact, it's worth getting wiped out sometimes just to see the shockwave emanating from your demise. In some ways, this is a very traditional shooter. You spend a few levels dodging obstacles and bad guys, then you take on a boss and, once they're dispatched, the process starts again.
However, there's also plenty of little elements that make Tentadrill a cut above the average blastarama. First of all, you start off unarmed and have to rely solely on your wits - and when the power-ups come, they're inventive enough to let you play the levels in many different ways. Tentadrill has definitely got legs. Not literally, obviously. Jump in here.
From the off, it's clear that Mausland's Miami Shark is, shall we say, not too big on subtlety. To put it another way, if Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay had made Flash games, they'd probably look like this. It's an all-out arcade-style assault on the senses, complete with a thumping 80s soundtrack and what sounds like genuine sound clips of gruff seafaring types recounting their encounters with Jaws' bigger, meaner brothers.
Like the real dead-eyed monsters of the deep, you have one basic motivation - eat. Unlike the genuine article, you're not confined to swimming around looking for wounded seals. Anything and everything is fair game here - swimmers, banana boats, swans, friendly little dolphins, boats, birds, jumbo jets, stealth bombers...no, really. Handy updates keep you informed of the body count but you'll probably miss all that as you dive and leap in a bid to take down a space shuttle.
If you've had a bad day at the office, this is one way to blow off steam with a psychotic murderous rampage that won't land you on the evening news. Play Miami Shark here.
3Majesty of Colors
Talk about a change of pace. Gregory Weir's dreamy, poetic Majesty of Colors is about eight billion light years away from the murderous mayhem of Miami Shark - but it's no less engaging. The atmospheric opening leads to a beautiful little transition from black and white to colour as the story begins.
You sit beneath the waves observing a strange, alien world. After a while, odd little creatures come along and it's entirely up to you whether your points and clicks are used for friendly or belligerent means - and your decisions will take the story in very different directions. It's enough to make you ponder your very existence. Play Majesty of Colors here.
4Moby Dick: The Video Game
Well, call me Ishmael. What's this? A shameless cash-in on a Great American Novel featuring hours of ponderous detailing of life at sea and the irrational pursuit of revenge against an elusive and dangerous foe? Er, not quite. To be fair, it's made pretty clear from the off that this isn't a faithful retelling of Herman Melville's weighty tome. In fact the white whale you control is where the similarities end.
Your task is to take out as many Queequeg-a-likes as you can while using your mighty jaws to bite their craft in twain. Careful though, as from hell's heart they stab at thee, so be sure to grab the health power-ups to keep you fighting fit for more dense, symbolist havoc-wreaking. Play Moby Dick: The Video Game here.
Finally, a cutesy rescue game where your main weapon is fly fishing! Someone, somewhere has obviously been getting my letters. The challenge is straightforward enough - your pal is stuck on the other side of a big, grey sea and the only thing to do is to catch fish until he can reach you. Of course!
You have to pick your lure for the type of fish you're after and cast away - but be careful, if a fish is too big for your bait, it'll be snaffled off the end of your line and you'll have to hit one of the handy red buoys to buy another one. These floating orbs also offer you the chance to soup up your rod and even purchase some entirely unsporting explosives to blow your squamous foes to tiny bits. Now that's sport! Play Fishing Girl here.
6Save Kaleidoscope Reef
Pollution is almost never fun, except when it's the inspiration for a delightful little game like Save Kaleidoscope Reef. You help the colourful denizens this underwater haven to do a spot of rebuilding after an anchor and several barrels of noxious goo do a number on it. It's a quick click and drag number that asks you to place plants and feed them floating ocean microbe thingies to make them grow big and strong.
As you go, you'll come up against new obstacles, including the nasty skull-shaped blobs of man's poison and rather unhelpful sea creatures who don't seem to appreciate that you're trying to save their entire ecosystem and keep eating bits of your efforts. Thankfully, you can deliver a well-deserved underwater punch to these wretches to send them packing.
Do remember though, cleaning up our delicate oceans is not as enjoyable or entertaining as it appears here, so please don't pour toxic sludge over your local barrier reef hoping to recreate the satisfying moment when the lion fish roars. Just play Save Kaleidoscope Reef here.
Occi isn't the strongest of swimmers. Luckily, he is quite springy. However, he still needs some help to get about - and that is where you, dear gamer, come in!
This sharp-looking physics game keeps it short and sweet with most of its levels - in some cases, it's entirely up to you if you want to bother trying to score any points at all. If you're one of those likes-a-challenge types, you can opt to pull Occi and catapult him over, on to and through various common undersea obstacles like, er, trampolines and conveyor belts to get him from A to B while picking up orange stars - and who doesn't like orange stars? No one, that's who. Play Flingo here.
Along the way, you'll have to contend with currents that push you and pull you hither and thither, as well as some extremely hostile sea creatures and giant, spinning star fish. Thankfully, your archaeological quest for knowledge does not preclude you from dropping depth charges on any living thing that gets in your way - and blowing up enemies turns them into goodies, so fill your submariner boots!
9I Can Hold My Breath Forever
It's not the protagonist in Jake Elliott's affecting underwater adventure that can hold their breath forever, unfortunately, it's their long-lost friend. They dived into a small pond some time ago and haven't been seen since so, like any good buddy, you've plunged in after them.
Turns out that small pond led to a big (a very big) network of underwater caves with some strangely behaving water and plenty of little glowing fish. Luckily, your chum remembered to pack a waterproof pad and pen in their trunks and they've left little notes in the air pockets to guide you along.
Just remember - you most definitely cannot hold your breath forever, so move fast to avoid being consumed by the enveloping darkness. Play I Can Hold My Breath Forever here.
10Dolphin Olympics 2
Everybody loves dolphins don't they? Well, except perhaps psychotic sharks. We've all heard how terribly clever they are, but what are they like at sports? Apart from American football, obviously. Well, Dolphin Olympics 2 from Rawkins Games gives you the chance to finally find out. Erm, assuming you missed the original Dolphin Olympics.
Here we are, presumably four years later, for another round of flips, corkscrews and tail-slides to impress the international panel of, um, other dolphins (again, presumably). The controls can have you looping in circles like a mad thing, but if your head can get around left and right sending you up and down (hey, I got there in the end...nearly), then you can really start to show off some artistic interpretation and keep the Olympic flame burning, which it has to be said is pretty tricky under water.
Remember, the key to wowing whoever the dolphin equivalent of Barry Davies or Marv Albert is comes down to building up some decent speed, so keep that nose handy for those all-important landings. Play Dolphin Olympics 2 here.