Developer: Hojo Studio
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone5, iPod5, iPad3 (optimized for iPhone)

Graphics/SoundRating: ★★★★★
Game ControlsRating: ★★★★★
GameplayRating: ★★★★★
Replay ValueRating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

What ho! Whether it’s endless runners or physics puzzlers, everyone is on the lookout for the next big thing. Enter Puffington. This quaint undersea quest is a jolly good time!

photo 1-1Puffington, a dapper British pufferfish, is on a mission to save his love Wormina from the evil fishnapper, Count Eelsworthy. Players must inflate and deflate him through the obstacles of the open sea, including blocks, anchors, spikes, fans, pearl-spitting oysters, jumping crabs, and whip-like shrimp antennae. While avoiding all these calamitous collisions, do not allow Puffington to get caught too far to the left or he will die. He must keep swimming forward, á la the endless runner. Yet this runner (swimmer) has levels.

Along his journey, Puffington must collect shillings for purchasing helpful or necessary items from the Corner Shoppe. He also must also gather up to three gizmos per level, with the goal of collecting sixty, in order to build a dirigible to fly Wormina to safety. Fortunately, bonuses such as the Prospector or Invincibubble pop up along the way.

To control Puffington, simply use a touch and release combo – touch and hold to puff him up and keep him toward the top of the screen, release to deflate him and allow him to sink lower. It’s tricky to navigate obstacles in this fashion, I’m not going to lie, but it makes for an entertaining challenge that will have players coming back for more.

photo 2To further endear this adventurous fish tale, the graphics and music are old-fashioned vintage film style, complete with a 3 – 2 countdown clock with audio roll beeps. The overall effect is quite lovely, and definitely a change in pace.

Twenty-four levels filled with formidable challenges will occupy players until the bitter end. I can only imagine that after saving Wormina, fans will be clamoring for more. Twenty-four just doesn’t seem to be enough. The only other critique might be that Puffington is a frills-free game – no points, no badges, no social networking, no game center, etc. But it’s free and it’s fun. Players would have to be off their trolley not to enjoy this one.

Pip pip!

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