Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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Can a fish run? Not really, given their lack of legs. Fortunately, despite the name, Fish Runner isn't actually about a freakish fish with legs. It's just a handy way of letting players know to expect an endless running game, but with swimming.
Fish Runner has a similar formula that we've all seen before. Players control Spiky, a fish in a sea full of garbage. There's an ecological undercurrent running here as Fish Runner certainly throws plenty of trash at poor Spiky. Everything from bikes to pizza boxes get in his way and it's down to the player to save him.
Two control methods are available here. One involves holding a finger to the screen and moving it up or down to direct Spiky. It's quite effective although I'd have preferred the addition of swiping affecting the speed of the fish. The other control method involves tilting the iOS device. This is actually the most comfortable option with Spiky responsive throughout. Again, speed is an issue with Spiky not the speediest of fishes but this just adds to the challenge.
Besides the typical idea of just beating the previous high score, replayability comes from the acquisition of coins. Collecting these coins can unlock new fishes which come with more lives. They can also unlock potions which give benefits such as shield protection and the ability to revive the fish.
For the most part though, Fish Runner is about competing with one's self. Game Center support provides global leaderboards which further backs this up.
It's unfortunate then that Fish Runner doesn't quite gel as well as other endless runners. Its high difficulty level thanks to the plethora of obstacles and sluggishness of Spiky makes it tricky to unlock new abilities any time soon making for an off-putting experience. With a tweak to this learning curve, things could have been a little more tempting.