Karin's Skin Diving Diary! is a 2017 Point-and-Click Adventure Game made by doujin circle Fox Eye, who previously developed other underwater fantasy games such as Aqua Cube, Holdover, Sacrifice Girl, and Hades Vanquish.
This game stars the titular Karin, who first appeared in At Night in a Party: The Whisper of the Sea. She enjoys helping her grandfather Ziji mine for fuel stones in their home of the Shanties Islands, but this resource was quickly running low. Karin later on gained a passion for underwater skin diving and took an interest in finding more fuel stones in the sea floor. But Ziji was worried that Karin would accidentally drown herself from doing this. So he supplied her with a support robot named Cubot. Cubot will monitor Karin while she's underwater and make sure to rescue her whenever she was on the verge of drowning.
The longer Karin stays underwater, the more EXP she gets, leveling up increases the speed the player's bonus rate rises, and the money you get after completing an operation is the amount of points you have from collecting fish multiplied by the final bonus rate you have. The materials that you gather can also be used to make the operations easier, such as scaring away unwanted fish, or reversing their value upon being caught.
Of course, this being a Fox Eye game, drowning is a prominent danger. If Karin drowns during a dive, the dive ends and the player is penalized with a 0.5 bonus rate, minimizing the amount of money they receive from the fish they collected.
This game is a short Slice of Life of sorts that focuses on Karin's love for sea life and completing tasks for people that she meets, such as gathering certain materials and solving puzzles. Completing tasks unlocks more swimsuits Karin can wear, and gain access to more areas that she can dive into. But by the end, you are simply free to keep collecting fish in exchange for money in order to unlock diary episodes that go more in-depth on Karin and her friends' lives on the Storia Islands through artwork and storytelling. While the game looks innocent enough on the surface, this is also the second "Fox Eye ABYSS" game after BLUE GUARDIAN: Margaret, which means that all of the female characters are allowed to avert Nipple and Dimed unlike all non-ABYSS Fox Eye games, alongside other risque moments featured in the game.
Interestingly, this game was originally going to be released for smartphones, first, but Fox instead made it available for PCs. This is the main reason why the game has a more vertical window display while it's running, as well as mouse-only controls due to their seamless correlation to touchscreen controls. A true smartphone release may be coming down the line, however.
The page image shows the English version of this game, which is the 2018 Updated Re-release known as Karin's Skin Diving Diary! plus, which contains some new postcard artwork not found in the original Japanese release. The Japanese version of plus was released later, and Japanese players of the original version of the game can carry over their save into it.
Info on the game can be found on its website here.
Karin's Skin Diving Diary! contains examples of:
- Accidental Pervert: After meeting up with Kai on dry land, Karin gets embarrassed at him because his small and tight Fundoshi makes it very easy to see his penis hiding in it. When Karin tries to explain this to Kai, she gets too flustered and Cannot Spit It Out to him. Kai returns the favor in his third diary scene, where unexpectedly encountering Karin topless arouses him to such an extent that he might as well not be wearing his fundoshi at all (which is then answered with a Wardrobe Malfunction, even).
- Anti-Frustration Features: Because failing a diving operation brings the bonus rate to only 0.5 and never any lower than that, even if the player lets Karin drown during an operation, as long as you have been collecting fish and keeping your score above 0, you will always still get more money than what you started with before executing a dive, even if it's just a very small increase.
- Ascended Extra:
- Karin started out as the protagonist of At Night in a Party: The Whisper of the Sea, which was only available to download as a 2016 Christmas Eve event game prior to said game's 2019 re-release within the Fox Eye Limited Game Collection. Upon this games full release, Karin now has more exposure as another one of Fox Eyes many heroines.
- Kana gets this treatment beyond the game, itself, going from being one of the NPCs of this game to becoming the titular protagonist of In the Aquarium: Sinking With Kana
- Author Appeal: Besides Fox Eye's usual Under the Sea & drowning focus, Karin also gets a variety of swimsuits to wear in this game, such as a School Swimsuit, a Stripperific monokini, and even a Fundoshi that leaves her topless.
- This game seems to be an expansion of the Christmas Eve event game, Let's Practice, Takahara-san!, to the point that Karin may be considered an Expy to Takahara-san. Both games are Point-and-Click games that involve playing as a young, black-haired girl that goes deep-sea skin-diving and must be monitored for the risk of drowning during her time underwater. Both games are only controlled using a mouse and, depending on the type of fish, has it either add or deduct points from your score when you click on them. Both games also have a Bonus Rate Score Multiplier system that can be ruined, along with your potential reward money, should you allow either girl to drown, with the Handwave being that the lost money was used for a medical treatment to revive the girl from her drowning.
- Within the game itself, sunken ships are among the discoveries Karin can find and swim through during a dive. At Night in a Party: The Whisper of the Sea had previously taken place entirely inside a sunken ship.
- Chained to a Rock: This is how Karin meets Kai. She subsequently frees him, but apparently this was a part of the training Kai was doing for the diving club hes in, and knew how to free himself from the rock, much to Karin's worry.
- This is how catching guppies works. Catching one guppy only gives you only 10 points like the sardines, but each successive catch of another guppy adds another 20 points to the catch (i.e. 10 becomes 30, becomes 50, becomes 70, etc). Catching any other fish resets the guppy points back to 10. Wearing Misato's Black Bikini will make guppies appear more frequently and make it easier to chain captures of them, even in areas where they usually don't appear.
- Bluefin tunas are worth more points the more times they can eat sardines, but waiting too long to catch one after no sardines are present will make the tuna run away. You also can't catch a tuna too soon before it can even eat one sardine, or else you'll lose points, instead.
- Devious Dolphins: Not exactly devious or violent, per se, but definitely annoying to encounter, as all of the fish you attempt to catch will swim away while a dolphin is onscreen. You're forbidden from catching dolphins, as they will penalize the player by subtracting 20% from their current score. You either have to scare them away with a Fuel Stone (at the risk of scaring away other valuable fish in the process), or catch them anyway to get rid of them and make up for your lost points afterwards.
- Excited Show Title!: Karin does indeed enjoy logging her skin diving adventures into her diary.
- Experience Booster: Wearing the Fundoshi increases the rate Karin gains EXP while shes submerged. This also happens if you have her dive in the Sea Trench.
- Eyes Always Shut: Rimimi never opens her eyes regardless of her mood.
- Fanservice: This happens almost everywhere in the game. Karin can unlock different swimsuits after completing tasks for people, and some of them are more Stripperific than others. Unlocking access to the Sea Trench will even allow Karin to take a dive in the nude, and even before then, her last actual outfit is a Fundoshi that only leaves her topless (due to fundoshis typically being worn by men and lack a top). All of the other female characters also get their moments in several normal and secret diary episodes, and even That One Guy Kai ends up having what is so far the lewdest fanservice out of any of Fox Eye's male characters.
- Female Gaze: It doesn't take much effort for neither Karin nor the player to see the shape of Kai's penis hiding under his Fundoshi. Karin, in particular, has trouble telling Kai how noticeable it is.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Reaching the Sea Trench will allow Karin to dive into it in her birthday suit. She also frequently goes naked in her diary episodes, and secret episodes apply this trope to the rest of the female cast, as well. Kai almost pulls this off by himself, but only because his Fundoshi is so small and tight on him that the player (as well as Karin) can make out nearly the entire shape and form of his genitals underneath it, anyway.
- Fundoshi: Kai wears this, but it looks a little bit tight on him. Karin can also get one from him after helping him with some research on some caves, though this means that Karin ends up being topless.
- Genre Shift: This is the second game after At Night in a Party: The Whisper of the Sea to focus on Karin. However, while At Night in a Party is a turn-based Block Puzzle game, Skin Diving Diary is instead a Point-and-Click Adventure Game.
- Hollywood Pudgy: In diary episodes focusing on Rimimi, she gets too embarrassed about wearing her bathing suit in public because she thinks she's fat. While Rimimi is a bit chubbier than the other girls in the game, Karin still considers her quite cute and attractive, and like with the rest of the females, there's a secret episode of her stripping naked for extra Fanservice.
- Hotter and Sexier: Like the previous ABYSS title, BLUE GUARDIAN: Margaret, this game averts Nipple and Dimed for all of the female characters, though this game lacks the more H-Game-esque material that Margaret has (such as that game's implied "death-by-rape" Game Over artwork). Even resident young male Kai gets a bit of this treatment through Female Gaze, where he wears a Fundoshi that does little to nothing to hide his genitals underneath it.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The way Cubot works is that it has a monitor that keeps an eye on Karin while she's swimming underwater, and it is programmed to rescue her if she drowns, and by monitor, the game's guide specifically means your PC's own monitor. In other words, you, the player, are the Cubot, meaning you are both Karin's diving buddy and her lifeguard.
- Meganekko: Fox Eye sees a rare example in Rimimi, the Adorkable owner of the Cosmos Harbor's tailor shop.
- Ms. Fanservice: Every single girl in the game has their moments, but Misato stands out due to being an adult woman. One diary episode shows Karin being amused that Misato likes to do sexy poses underwater for a camera, and she also gets to strip naked in one of the secret diary episodes. Just as well, the extremely Stripperific Black Bikini Karin can earn from Misato is all but stated to have originally belonged to her.
- Non-Standard Character Design: All of the fish and sea creatures you find in the game are drawn more realistically compared to the brighter anime-styled designs of the human characters.
- Old Save Bonus: Karin's Skin Diving Diary was released in English as an updated version called plus. The plus version of the game was released for Japanese players later, and not only can they get it for free if they already purchased the original version, but they can also transfer their saves into the plus version.
- Oxygen Meter: As always from Fox Eye, but this time it's subverted. There is no meter, because the game puts more emphasis on Karin's body language, instead (When she's forced to breathe out, she's used half of her air supply. When her face turns blue, she's almost out of air!). Drowning doesn't give the player a Game Over like in other Fox Eye games, but your dive is still ended as you then use the Cubot to rescue Karin, and the bonus rate for the money you can get from your dive will be cut in half. This is actually Handwaved as some of the potential cash that you could've had was instead used to pay for Karin's medical treatment to revive her from her drowning. Using an Aqua-Cotton lets her stay underwater longer for the duration it is active, but less by refilling her air supply and more by slowing down the rate she loses air while it's in use. This means that Karin can still drown after a long consecutive use of Aqua-Cottons and will still need to surface for a breath.
- Petite Pride: Kana is notably flatter than the other females in the game, but the rather-busty Karin believes that this is part of how Kana is a more excellent swimmer than her.
- School Swimsuit: Kana's preferred swim attire. Karin can earn another one from her after helping her unlock a treasure chest. Wearing it turns it into a Leotard of Power that allows used items to last longer, and maximizes the chance of discovering underwater caves and sunken ships in certain areas.
- Stripperific: The Cosmos Bikini and the Black Bikini are two of the most revealing swimsuits Karin can get. They are earned from helping Rimimi and Misato, respectively.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Misato and Kana are mother and daughter, respectively, and Karin takes note of how much they look like each other after helping them out with their tasks.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills:
- Downplayed for Kai. He is in a diving club that practices certain hardcore diving skills and maneuvers. As a couple diary episodes focused on him show, one of these skills is learning how to pleasantly take a nap underwater without worrying too much about taking a breath. He loses his composure, and a lot of his breath, after seeing a topless Karin, however.
- Played with in regards to Karin. If she stays under for too long, she will pass out from lack of air; however, she'll never actually die. Once Cubot rescues her, she'll be perfectly fine and ready to dive once more. (She will still fail her mission, though.)
- That One Guy: Most of the cast is female, but besides Karin's grandfather Ziji, there's also the Fundoshi diver, Kai, who looks to be the closest Fox Eye has had to a young male swimmer since Yuu of Aqua Cube, or the boy that was going to appear in Sacrifice Girl. This is also referenced in-universe, as the diving club Kai is in is explicitly stated to be an all-girls club.
- Tentacled Terror:
- Squids are the other "bad" sea creatures you'll encounter during a dive. Having one onscreen increases the chance of encountering the aforementioned Devious Dolphins, though catching them doesn't penalize you as much as the dolphins do (squids only take out 5% of your score compared to a dolphins 20%).
- Karin also has a nasty encounter with a giant octopus in some of her diary episodes. She is grabbed by one of its tentacles and is forced to drown, but the Cubot miraculously manages to rescue her, anyway.
- Under the Sea: The main action of the game is diving into the sea floors of different areas across different parts of the Storia Islands for fishing and salvaging for materials.
- Updated Re-release: The plus version of this game features extra artwork in postcards. Also counts as Remade for the Export, as this is also the first version of the game to be released in English, while the Japanese version of plus was released later down the line.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: If Karin drowns, the game then adds a prompt to rescue her with the push of a button. The game also allows you to take however long as you want to do this...