You ever feel like a fish out of water?

First impressions

As we have grown up in the Caribbean, we are quite familiar with seeing the fish underwater, although we hadn’t encountered quite the array to be found in the “Fish Out Of Water!” app.

We downloaded this late in the evening on the recommendation of a friend of ours who had been playing it for some time and swore that it was one of the most addictive games he had played. We found it hard to believe that an app revolving around chucking animated fish across the sea like a skimming stone could be anything but extremely boring, but as we needed to take a break from Candy Crush for a while, we decided to give it a go.

As 2am arrived on our clock and we were still playing, we began to see what he was talking about.

How it works

When you first download it, you may feel that it has some resemblance to Angry Birds or similar two-dimensional games that involve throwing live creatures at other objects, yet Fish Out Of Water! is different enough to set it apart.

A helpful crustacean is there to guide you along at the beginning, encouraging you to pick one of the fish out of the sea, and hurl it to the right, using your finger as the slingshot.

Maybe you’ll choose Micro the whale, Finlay the dolphin, or Errol, who appears to be a puffer fish, but then we’re no ichthyologist. The Brothers is an interesting choice, because although it looks like one fish underwater, it splits into multiples once you lob it.

You throw three fish in total, and then you are judged by a panel of crabs on combined distance and number of skips. The crabs range from Distance Dorothy and Skippy Steve to Hard to please Harwood at the end who typically gives the lowest score.

As you go along, further options and obstacles present themselves. You can collect crystals in your treasure chest that will provide you with special extras to help your score, including additional skips and little sun-looking things that when hit by the fish will add boosters.

Each fish soars in a different way, and has strengths and weaknesses depending on what your set goal is. The weather can also be a factor, as this changes while you play. A flag on the spit of land to the left and the forecast in the top right-hand corner keep you abreast of what winds and currents may be around that could affect how far your fish can go. Might be a idea sometimes to wait until that squall passes…arrrrhhhh.

As you move up through the levels you’ll encounter hoops, jellyfish and other challenges to keep you interested, and all the while you’ll be trying to keep Hard to please Harwood from giving you a pathetic score.

Just in case you’re wondering how your skills are comparing to others, you can see constantly changing scores from around the world in the top left-hand corner of your screen.

When we played

The first time we decided to chuck a sea creature, we chose Finlay the dolphin. To our surprise he went really, really far, dipping in and out of the sea for what seemed forever. Okay, he didn’t skip a phenomenal amount, but he got the distance. Surely that was the most important thing? Apparently not.

Skipping, it turned out, was equally important. We therefore quickly clued in that The Brothers were excellent skip accumulators, and so they were a good choice to raise our score in that department. After a while we managed to get the odd 7.1 out of 10, which we thought was pretty impressive, until we saw that Alessandro from Italy had just scored 8.2 and Lindsay from the USA had managed a whopping 8.9! We began to wonder if Harwood had taken a particular dislike to us. Luckily George from the UK made us feel better with 5.9. At the same time it began to rain and our flag was blowing a bit. We decided it might be a good time to keep our fish underwater until 1pm when the forecast said it would clear up.

When we got back to playing, we went into our treasure chest and got some crystals to put together an extra-20-skips booster. That raised our score remarkably. Maybe that’s how our international compatriots were doing so well…

Despite the fact that we didn’t think we’d get pulled into this game, we found ourselves explaining to friends why using Micro the whale was the best idea in a particular level; so clearly we were addicted enough to throw all concerns of social ostracisation out the window.

Final thoughts

Halfbrick, the creators of Fruit Ninja have done it again. They have taken a very simple concept and made it interesting for everyone from fishermen to couch potatoes. If you were ever a fan of skipping stones across the water, this may just be your dream app where you can put those skills to excellent use and see how you fare with the judgemental crabs.

Pros: Very colourful. Kids and adults will love it. Lots of interesting variables.

Cons: Hard to please Harwood; but that could just be personal.

Fish Out Of Water!

Cost: $0.99

Seller: Halfbrick Studios

Devices: Android and iOS

Rating: E for Everyone

Four stars

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