App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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The Legend of the Skyfish is a puzzle-platformer that seems to take most of its inspiration from The Legend of Zelda, but with a greater focus on puzzle solving over exploration. While the game looks and plays fantastically, Skyfish spends a little too much time ramping up the difficulty, making a large portion of it feel kind of boring.
A fishy tale
Skyfish starts out with a cinematic explaining that the state of the world is in peril. The infamous Skyfish has been unleashed on the world and it's up to you stop it by destroying its totems with your trusty fishing rod.
To do this, you'll wander through islands full of puzzles and enemies, using your rod to grapple around the map, hit enemies, flip switches, and more. All of this controls more or less as you might expect, with movement being controlled by dragging your thumb around the left side of the screen and using the two on-screen buttons to either attack or cast your rod.
Throughout the game's 45 levels, Skyfish constantly delights in just how good it looks. The game's art style has a hand-painted look that not only looks great, but moves smoothly and beautifully as well.
Perhaps more importantly is how well the visual design of Skyfish teaches players how to play the game. Even though things like booby trap switches and pressure-sensitive spikes aren't ever explicitly acknowledged by any sort of game tutorial, players can easily identify and manipulate these features to solve puzzles just by deducing them from their distinct looks.
Shooting fish in a barrel
Skyfish's main downfall is that it stays too easy for too long. Through the first three quarters of the game, it's easy to breeze through Skyfish because its puzzles and combat just don't offer up much challenge at all. Even if you push yourself to find every hidden chest and unlock new pieces of loot, these "secret" sections of gameplay are too easily found and solved to feel particularly rewarding.
Admittedly, the last ten or so levels of Skyfish really ramp up the difficulty, making for a pretty satisfying finish, but at that point it's a bit too little, too late. The entire experience then wraps up right when it feels like the puzzles and the mechanics were being pushed to where they should be throughout the entire game.
By the end of Skyfish, I had easily gathered all of the game's items and only died a handful of times, leaving me with little reason to revisit any areas and a sense of relative dissatisfaction.
The bottom line
The Legend of Skyfish offers up some beautiful, Zelda-lite puzzling, but ultimately comes away feeling a little overly simplistic. While it does offer up some challenge toward the end of the game, there's just a slog of super simple puzzles coming before it, which aren't the most fun things to play through.