Developer: Seastar Games
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

I’m not entirely certain of the purpose behind Fish Party Online. Sure, games don’t entirely need a reason to exist or a reason for players to keep on playing. Frequently, as long as it’s fun is all that matters. I guess the very fact that Fish Party Online is making me question it so much says it all: I didn’t have enough fun to not think about it.

Swimming around as a fish is the main idea within Fish Party Online. There are a selection of different game modes to play but the same process applies: swim around under the sea to complete objectives. A virtual d-pad along with virtual buttons controls the action and it all works quite effectively enough.

One mode, Stay Alive, involves swimming around eating up smaller fish while avoiding big ones. The player’s fish grows as they eat more, meaning that eventually it’s possible to eat the huge fish also. Another mode, Pacfish, is a Pac-Man style battle to collect up items while avoiding the huge and very nasty fish. This is available in both timed and unlimited formats.

It’s all innocent enough yet somehow feels uninspiring. An experience and levelling up system is available to spice things up a bit but that’s more for one’s own satisfaction than anything hugely amazing. It’s a similar case with the items that can be bought to dress up the fish.

Everything about Fish Party Online is heavily focused on online play, which can get sluggish, and buying items with in-app purchases. I didn’t feel too keen on either, especially with numerous connection timeouts and freezes.

A cluttered interface doesn’t help matters and Fish Party Online‘s presentation feels exceptionally busy for something so basic. Actually playing the main two modes, Stay Alive and Pacfish, is a reasonably entertaining proposition. It’s simple but passes the time. It’s all the filler that makes Fish Party Online feel a little superfluous and brings about questions of “why?”.

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