I’m reluctant to call Fish Out of Water an endless runner, but yeah, that’s ultimately what it is. Kinda. Sorta.
Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride is of course one of the best endless runners we’ve seen to date, but Fish Out of Water is a million miles away from that particular brand of hold-your-finger-down-to-hover action.
Essentially, Fish Out of Water tasks you with throwing fish as far as possible, using three from a pool of six – each with its own characteristics.
After your three throws, you’re awarded a score out of ten from five judges, which again have their own little personalities. One really wants to see distance, while another prefers “skips”; that’s when your fish bounces along the water.
As such, it’s important to pick an effective selection of fish. Micro the whale is great for distance, but doesn’t skip much when he hits the water, while the Brothers split into five, which often means skips aplenty – but not so much distance.
Finlay the dolphin is an interesting one, as he effectively draws a waveform when he hits the water, repeatedly gliding under and leaping out. Throw him too high initially, however, and he’ll hit the sand below, losing his momentum.
So you see how Fish Out of Water is deceptively deep, and the fun doesn’t end there.
You also have a ration of boost to share between your three fish/throws, with little sunshine replenishments dotted around the playing area. Again, there’s a knack to it; intelligent deployment of boost can see you racking up massive distance and/or skips, but it's not just a case of holding your finger down and hoping for the best.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Fish Out of Water also has a mission system. Complete three goals and you’ll level up, at which point you’re awarded a pack of coloured gems.
With said gems, you can create one-off boosts (‘Adds 100m to next throw’, for example), and little items of clothing that give permanent boosts.
And that’s Fish Out of Water in 350 words. I made the mistake of thinking ‘Is that it?’ after my first couple of goes, but it takes a lot of skill to win over all five judges.
Incidentally, I just managed a 9.8 average (with the help of a distance boost, admittedly), and unlocked Pro scoring, which multiplies skips by distance.
Anyway, yeah, even if you hate endless runners, Fish out of Water is absolutely worth checking out. Interesting stuff.
- Six varied fish, and five different judges to please
- Nice weather system (forgot to mention that!)
- Experimenting with gems
- Does get a tad samey; all you’re doing is throwing fish
- Yes, you can buy gems to speed things along, hmm
- Some half-baked social stuff (leagues)
Summary: It’s probably unfair to class – or, worse still, dismiss – Fish Out of Water as an endless runner, as there’s so much more going on. The fish-throwing concept is easy to get on board with, but takes a fair bit of skill to master.
Price: 69p @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.