Sawbuck Gamer

Fish Out Of Water

Whalestrom

Fish Out Of Water puts a new spin on the ancient sport of fish tossing.

By Matt Kodner • June 5, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

One of the funniest things about fishing is the moment when you’re reeling in a catch and suddenly there’s a fish zipping through the air toward you. It’s an unnatural sight—a fish in clear defiance of Neptune’s will, soaring through the sky. Fish Out Of Water, the latest game from the Jetpack Joyride developer Halfbrick, takes that unnatural moment and scales it up into its own addictive game. Except in this world, you’re chucking the fish as far as the eye can see.

You’ve got five aquatic pals to choose from, and they all work a little differently. Micro is a giant whale, so he can be flung quite far indeed. Rocket specializes in skipping across the water’s surface. After three throws, your performance is judged on a 10-point system by an amusing panel of crabs, each with their own unique personalities. Skippy Steve is understandably partial to a skip-heavy performance while Hard To Please Harwood is a curmudgeonly asshole who scores low just to be mean. Getting 10s across the board is ostensibly the goal of Fish Out Of Water, but I found myself reeled back in for the micro-goals assigned within each fish-throwing competition. Completing these simple tasks is far from riveting, but they make for a mean “just one more round” experience. If only throwing fish were this much fun in real life.

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5 Responses to “Whalestrom”

  1. Chalkdust says:

    New Halfbrick game?  After Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, I certainly hold them in esteem out of the sea of casual game developers.  They’re good at presenting a solid core gameplay experience without the need to buy extras in order to make it fun or prolong it (“Buy more energy?”  No!  Let me just play the game, dammit!).  The variety present in Jetpack Joyride, from all the different gadgets which tweak the experience, to the various vehicle modes to the huge assortment of mini-goals, means I’ve sunk an inordinate number of hours into a game with ostensibly a single point of interactivity (fly/don’t fly).

    • I’ve clocked maybe 200 hours of Jetpack Joyride by now, but my favorite Halfbrick game is still Avatar: The Last Airbender — Into The Inferno for Nintendo DS. It was a surprisingly fun and clever Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass-alike, though it’s story probably made no sense if you hadn’t already watched the cartoon.

      • Chalkdust says:

         I had no idea this existed!  Actually, I had no idea Halfbrick got their start doing licensed handheld titles, but I’ll hunt that down.  I am a fan of Avatar, so a good Avatar game would be welcome.

        • Yup, Fruit Ninja was sort of their big breakout original IP. Since this was the third-and-final entry in the Avatar animated series set of games, I guess they felt like it was all-or-nothing time, so while the first two were fairly basic and forgettable licensed things, this one went with a chibi-style with over-the-top facial expressions and an overtly humorous tone (for example, while the fairly serious Wii and PS2 version of the game featured battles with Combustion Man, the DS title only referred to him as Sokka’s original nickname, “Sparky-Sparky-Boom-Man”). Also they were clearly inspired by Phantom Hourglass and it’s approach to puzzles and dungeons. Sokka’s boomerang controls exactly like Link’s in PH, and it’s surprisingly satisfying. It’s got to be a dollar bin game by now, if you can find it.

  2. Eco1970 says:

    What are you talking about? Throeing fish in real life is awesome fun.