It’s getting to the point that everything Halfbrick touches turns to instant gold. Whether it’s a twin stick shooter, a runner or a fruit slicer, the Aussie studio is seemingly unstoppable. But what about it’s latest effort, Fish Out Of Water? Let’s check the basics first.
The most important aspect of any Halfbrick title is presentation, combining an elegant visual quality with an easy, pick up and play control mechanic. Yup, it’s got that.
The evolution of their products have added an extra layer of ‘incentive’ programming, creating an addictive reason to continue playing the game for many moons to come. Certainly has that.
And finally every Halfbrick game is, pure and simply, fun. Tick.
So Fish Out Of Water passes all three criteria rather easily, but it has to be said that Halfbrick has clearly targeted its latest towards a younger, perhaps less experienced audience than previous efforts. You can argue that they’ve done this all along, but given how easy the controls are here, it’s even more obvious than before.
Simply put, you must fling three fish across the ocean as best as possible, taking into account both distance and the amount of skips they make across the water, in order to attain as high an overall score as possible. There’s five fish to choose from, each with slightly different statistics that can alter your overall result. You also have to take into account the different weather conditions, which change every real time hour. From there, it’s a mix of chance and timing, with a boost meter that can be activated at any time to increase your little dude’s speed, though only if you collect tokens which litter the play field.
I say chance since you don’t really have much control beyond the initial fling. If you get your angle and speed right, your fish will fly some way before skipping to a halt. If you do time it right, you can boost your fish further forward. Time it wrong and he’ll go flying high into the air, but probably straight up and down without going much further or skipping at all.
There’s a number of collectible items and unlocks to be had. In a similar vein to Jetpack Joyride, if you complete various tasks during play you’ll increase your overall level and unlock gems which can be used to improve your result among other stat improvements. There’s also plenty of stats to keep an eye on, along with competitive ladders and social involvement over Facebook and Twitter so you can bloat about your success.
For the price you pay, Fish Out Of Water is a fair package. It all comes down to how much time you put into it, really. Once you start to figure out the different abilities of each fish and combine them with the right weather conditions, you’ll eventually score rather highly more often than not. Safe to say, if you like having your name at the top of the leader board, this one will keep you going for a while.
Whilst Fish Out Of Water may not reach the same incredible heights of its predecessors (though that remains to be seen), it’s certainly set to continue the high standard that Halfbrick has set itself. The presentation is clean, colourful and fun, something kids will no doubt love. The adults, both male and female, aren’t left behind either thanks to its addictive nature. That’s the perfect kind of balance every game should be aiming for, especially on the mobile platform.
It might be considered too easy for some, but Fish Out Of Water is a fun and worthwhile distraction.
[review pros="Colourful presentation, Easy 'pick up and play' mechanics, entirely addictive" cons="Might be considered a little too easy for some" score=88]