Mobile Week Day 1: Fish Out of Water! Review

It’s that time of year again folks, it is time for Mobile Week 2014, where we take a look at the games available for mobile devices, in an effort to showcase the best of mobile devices. First up: Halfbrick’s A Fish Out of Water!.

Fish Out of Water! is a game that takes the scoring system of judges holding up cards, and applies it to fish just skimming along water. It’s a little bit like being judged on how well you can skim stones across water, but if some stones were balloons and others rocket ships.

The game is fairly simple, like most other Halfbrick games it has a simple control scheme determined by a single action: here, it’s a flick. A simple flick on the touch screen will cause one of the fish to fly off into the distance along the ocean top.

At the end of each run (each using three different fish), the judges give a score based on the number of skips and distance travelled.

A Fish out of Water

I feel that I should mention the fish here. Each fish has a distinctive style, and even has a name.

  • Olympus is a typical fish, and is an all-rounder at both styles.
  • Micro is a whale, and is brilliant and giant jumps that enable him to travel large distances.
  • Rocket is a fish that goes very fast, and is best at lots of skips (but is able to go averagely far)
  • Errol is a puffer fish, and bounces along the surface. He’s also an all-rounder.
  • Finlay is a dolphin, and spends an equal amount of time above and below the surface of the water. He can be used for either distance or skips.
  • Finally, the brothers are fish that split up, and give a huge contribution to the number of skips. However, they never go very far.

Typically, I found myself using Errol, Rocket and finishing with Micro, but I would occasionally change my lineup when the  weather changed.

Yes, this game has a weather system, which affects the surface of the water. This means that every 10 minutes, the weather will change. While some don’t affect the surface much, others – such as a thunderstorm – make the surface very rough and render fish that require the surface to be smooth to go far – such as rocket – useless.

Rocket

Of course, the game isn’t that simple. In addition to this the fish can pick up boost orbs which add to the boost metre, which, when the screen is tapped, increase a fish’s speed. The judges also have a different set of criteria, for example on judge prefers runs with a higher number of skips, while another prefers runs that have a large distance.

The game also has the typical Halfbrick progression scheme, not unlike Jetpack Joyride: there are three missions at any one time, each revolving around doing something (such as travelling above a line, performing 30 skips with Finlay, flying through hoops, etc.), and upon completion, you “level up”, which means that you unlock some crystals. Crystals can be used to craft bonuses, or unlock…costumes. Costumes in this game give a new cosmetic look to character, as well as increasing a particular trait of that character, such as how high they skip or how fast they go.

Now while the game is good fun for a while, after a little while it becomes fairly boring. Unfortunately the changing weather doesn’t alter the game enough to replay too often, and the missions repeat themselves fairly often, but with slightly different numbers.

Positives

– Great Premise

– Great, simplistic gameplay

– Cutesy Graphics

– Unlockables

– Different Characters

– Different ways to play

– Weather changes

Score A Fish Out of Water

Negatives

– Becomes bland after a while

– Missions repeated often with slight changes

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