I’m honestly at a loss as to what Mermaid's Newborn Baby Doctor is meant to be. It oscillates between a mindless “pet” game in which you have to deliver and care for a baby mermaid, and a simple mini-game collection - but there is no meaningful link between the two.
I thought mermaids laid eggs
With a clear focus on the kids market, the main thrust of Mermaid's Newborn Baby Doctor is to nurse a prospective aquatic-mother through the late stages of her pregnancy, deliver the child, and then get them both home looking stylish.
Each of the seven stages of this process require you use items located at the bottom of the screen to carry out procedures in a mechanical, set order. There is no creativity to this, with the game dictating all of your actions, actions that get oddly detailed. Whether you are drawing the mermaid's blood to check it under the microscope or clamping the umbilical cord before cutting it, you have to wonder exactly where these acts feature in most children's understanding of childbirth. You could say that it’s educational but, if that’s the case, mer-dad is conspicuously missing from the baby making process.
Nurse pass me the syringe (it’s under the Arkanoid)
It doesn’t take long for Mermaid's Newborn Baby Doctor's conspicuous free-to-play nature to become apparent. There are the ever present ads for toe-curling similar products (Foot Spar Kid's Games, anyone?) that fill the whole screen at regular intervals. Then there are the in-app purchases, which lock the final tool on each stage of the mermaid’s journey and which must be earned or bought to progress. So, while you may be able to bathe the mer-kid and wash its hair, you can't clean its belly button to progress the game without playing a mini-game to unlock cotton buds.
In theory this isn’t a bad thing, as it proves to be the most play-filled part of the game. The eight mini-games are dull but varied – including the Wackamole and Arkanoid clones. There seems to be no link between these and the baby/mermaid theme though, which feels like a missed opportunity. It would have taken much, something as simple as turning the Flappy Bird clone into Flappy Fish could have made the whole thing feel more cohesive.
Under the C (minus)
The whole thing is just mundane. None of the mini-games really inspire you to revisit them, making the need to replay them when you are unsuccessful at unlocking a required item truly frustrating. Add to this the app’s regular crashes, plus the thematic inconsistency, and you are left with a shell of a game.