Fish Out Of Water! Review

By , on April 18, 2013
Last modified 11 years, 1 month ago

Fish Out Of Water!
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • The sticky, weighty feel of each animal is almost palpable; makes choosing the right one for each situation a snap.
  • Mission system focuses on teaching players new skills as much as testing the ones they already know.


  • While the occasional weather event can mix things up, the lack of variety in gameplay sets in quickly.
  • Unable to choose when you use temporary power-ups; you have to experiment to learn what each combination does, wasting precious gems in the process.


Fish Out Of Water! has an immediate and friendly appeal to its simple gameplay, but a polished interface is not enough to disguise the lack of variety in the gameplay itself - what should be a more-ish 'just one more go' system is buried under a system that rewards luck as much as skill.

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The success of Jetpack Joyride has given Halfbrick Studios a kind of blueprint for future releases to follow. Fish Out Of Water! is the latest from the Aussie studio, however you'll be trading in your skilled trigger finger for something a little more relaxed.

The aim of the game is to score as high as possible from a panel of crabs. Each one will assign you an individual score (ala gymnastics) and your final is the average of them all - just watch out for the final crab as he'll mark you down for no reason at all. Actually, all the judges have their own quirks, and in knowing them all you can hopefully satisfy what they're looking for in each of your attempts.

"Attempt what?" I hear you screaming. If you're familiar with the many long-distance slingshot style games on the App Store, then you'll already know what you're in for here. At its most basic level all you have to do is take one of the fish (or mammals) at the start of the stage, fling them with a swipe, and watch them fly, skip, and bounce.

However, if that's all the game offered you'd probably not even give it a second glance before ignoring it. Thankfully each fish (or mammal) you choose from sports a unique trait, be it speedy, streamlined skipping, to gracefully jumping through the waves, to slowly, but surely bouncing around rough oceans.

I say thankful because each hour the weather within the game will change (sometimes drastically), forcing you to think carefully about how to get the best score. You'll be motivated to do your best thanks to: the carefully scaling mission system and its clever way of teaching players new skills; also, by joining a 'league' you can participate in a global team effort to see who can get the best overall score.

Though by far, the best feature of the game is the way it feels. Each animal has a distinct weight and buoyancy that feels gorgeous when swiping and interacts with the beautifully rendered world. It's hard not to spend a moment or two enjoying the detail that has gone in to such wonderful visuals.

As such it's a shame to say the game (excuse the pun) flounders in terms of depth and variety. Despite all the animals to choose from, and all the environments the game throws at you (not to mention the temporary power ups you can craft with gems), it all feels far too same-y no matter what you do. The missions provide some direction, but it regularly deviates from the core gameplay in a way that's less exciting than watching fish bounce.

Early adopters will no doubt get their fill and it's definitely worth playing once it goes free, just be wary of Fish Out Of Water!'s initial lack of variety.


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