iPhone App Review: Stop Those Fish

iPhone App Review: Stop Those Fish

January 19th, 2012 by

There is apparently a revolt brewing down at the bottom of the ocean, and only the loyal and fierce bears of our great society have the courage, dedication, boats, and dynamite capable of stopping it. Hyper-intelligent fish are plotting a takeover of the world, and as the leader of a team of warrior bears you must stop them at all costs.

How It Works

Stop Those Fish is like a blast fishing simulator using Missile Command mechanics, but turned upside-down since the boats are at the top of the screen instead of the bottom. Simply use your fingers to draw a path from a chosen rowboat to the vicinity of attacking fish, and the bear will toss a stick of dynamite that explodes at the end point of the line. You earn bonus coins for making combos, meaning you blast more than one fish with one stick of dynamite, and birds occasionally fly overhead that apparently need a good blowing-up as well.

You must occasionally replenish your dynamite between levels, in a store where you also have your choice of upgrades for your boats and weapons. There are also different gameplay modes to unlock, such as an underwater cage level and submarine warfare (still bears versus fish, naturally).

You also earn P4RC points within the game, which is a system that allows you to redeem earned in-game points towards real-world rewards. As is becoming common with games in the App Store these days, you can also purchase in-game coins using real-world currency.

Pros And Cons

The gameplay itself is fun and addictive. It has elements of what make tower defense games so fun and challenging, combined with the visceral feedback of line-drawing games like Flight Control. The fish come fast and furious, but you have an indicator on each level telling you how many fish are in each wave, so you never feel lost or like you’re in an endless struggle.

There are also challenges in the gameplay itself that surprise and keep you interested. The fish eventually start changing direction from time to time, diverting course from their original target, rendering you already-drawn dynamite path worthless. If they get to your ship they will damage it, eventually sinking a vessel (you only have three), but throwing a stick of explosives too close to the ship can damage it too. It’s a fine balance of being fast and also being careful, lest you destroy yourself in your haste to destroy your enemy.

My only complaint is with the in-game store: it’s really unclear, at least to me, what all of the icons mean. I managed to figure out that one restocks dynamite, and another repairs your ship, but I still don’t know what the other two do. I imagine they upgrade your weapons and boats, but that is not at all clear from the pictures on the icons. Labels or clearer icons would be helpful.

Overall

Stop Those Fish is a fun, addictive, and challenging game, with over 40 levels of play to keep you occupied. It’s simultaneously fast and strategic, with short levels, making it a perfect game to pass the time.

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