You wouldn’t be-lieve the trouble that PR ladies Karen and Selene went to in order to get me a review copy of Fetch; we’re probably talking dozens of emails, encompassing both sides of the Atlantic. Had the game been rubbish, I would’ve felt fantastically awkward.
Fortunately, Fetch is quite possibly one of the most unique and endearing games on the App Store. Phew! What a relief.
In a nutshell, Fetch for iOS is equal parts arcade fun and point-and-click adventure. It’s an occasionally odd marriage, but it works a treat for the most part.
Fetch tells the story of an unnamed protagonist as he searches for his dog Bear, who’s been kidnapped after peeing on a fire hydrant. Weird as I am, I did not make that up.
The game is initially focused on the point-and-click stuff (which is really just a case of “tap”, for the touchscreen generation), and slowly introduces arcade elements before giving way to a relentlessly action-packed finale.
The arcade games in Fetch mostly take the form of arcade units, though the last chapter sees our hero take a museum ride through MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry, which is seemingly a real museum in Seattle; who knew?). In any case, they’re generally integral to the story, as opposed to being half-baked distractions.
Indeed, a couple of the arcade games appear to have had more thought and care behind them than some full games on the App Store. I’d love to see more from Pier Pressure in particular, which sees you manning a catapult while simultaneously tapping the screen to destroy incoming projectiles.
And not forgetting the other half of Fetch: the point-and-click element. Sadly, it’s mostly consumed by one mammoth sewer-based puzzle. It would’ve been nice to see more in the way of problem solving.
Actually, it would’ve been nice to see more of Fetch in general. It takes around two-and-a-half hours to complete, though there’s replay value with 50 little cards to collect (which equate to the 50 Game Center achievements).
My only other gripe with Fetch is that you occasionally feel like you’re tapping at anything and everything in order to further your progress, but that’s fairly typical of point-and-click games, and makes it all the more satisfying when you finally figure it out.
Unfortunately, Fetch is currently exclusive to the iPad, which is often the case initially with these really groundbreaking games (I’m thinking of The Room and Little Inferno), but the wee screen really wouldn’t do it justice. Heck, borrow an iPad for a few hours if you have to. It’s totally worth it.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the fantastic visuals, the equally-fantastic sound, and the (*spoiler alert*) utterly heartbreaking moments when our young protagonist comes within a whisker of saving Bear only to have him snatched away again. “Beeeaaar!” Sniff.
- Point-and-click is awesome
- The seven arcade games (especially Pier Pressure)
- The sound and visuals
- It’s really short
- More point-and-click/puzzles please
- Occasionally feels a bit random
Summary: If anyone tries to tell you touchscreen gaming is rubbish, make – or let – them play Fetch for a bit, and laugh heartily as they beg for humble pie. It’s a great little game.
Developer: Big Fish Games
Price: currently £2.49 @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.