Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4, iPad 2
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We first met sadistic little Mathilda as she tried to kill her pet goldfish Yello by tossing him out of his bowl in Saving Yello. Now Dreamfab has a sequel in the App Store called Chasing Yello, which has the pint-sized bundle of malice relentlessly pursuing her poor pet, who seems to have made good the start of his getaway. I swore to myself I’d stop comparing games to Jetpack Joyride or Temple Run, but it's hard to avoid here. While the graphics and story are new and more kid-friendly, the gameplay borrows from those hit endless runners in almost every way. The game is fun to play, but if anyone's a fan of the genre they’ve seen this before - many times.
We have the set-up: Yello is swimming up river trying to get as far from Mathilda, the taunting little girl - who not only wants him back, but wants him for supper - as possible. Whether Yello’s escaping more flinging from his bowl or just her grating voice, he’s on an endless (and futile) swim to safety. Players use accelerometer controls to guide him through the straights and narrows, and simple swipes launch him over or under obstacles. It sounds easy, and looks like a children’s game, but there is a decent challenge here. Added to it are missions; they can be as simple as getting ten stars on a run, or insane like avoiding the stars for hundreds of meters. These add not only reply value, but also a changeup from the same old high score chase.
There are lots of things impeding Yello’s journey. He has to jump over or swim under logs, avoid fires and crashing into boulders, contend with crabs and piranhas, and there is always Mathilda hot on his orange tail with her net, trying to scoop him up and out between jibes. There are speed boosts and power-ups like shields, rockets and magnets, along with special abilities and utilities that can be purchased with in-game currency that adds up at a moderate pace. Impatient players can spring for in-app star bundle purchases to get Yello farther faster.
There’s nothing here to criticize, really. The graphics are polished, Mathilda will enthral little gamers while annoying those with younger siblings or children of their own in just the way intended, and the game uses a tried and true formula. It plays better on an iPhone than an iPad owing to the control scheme, but otherwise dreamfab pulls this one off without a hitch. Still, it’s impossible to leave Chasing Yello without a sense of been there, done that. It’s another solid summer diversion for $.99, but not one likely to be on many iOS devices by the time Autumn falls.