Fin Friends in Review – Friendly, But Not Much New

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What do you get when you take two artists from a well known company and set them on their own to design mobile games?  Apparently you get a family friendly cave flyer style game that takes place under water with fish.  Fin Friends is one of those games that are nice, but other than some flashy graphics it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the pack.  If you like cave flyer or infinite runner style games you’ll enjoy Fin Friends, but don’t expect to see any revolutionary game play elements here.

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You control Ruby, and you must help him rescue his friends from the Blowfish Gang.  Thankfully the only skill you’ll need it the ability to tap the screen, because that’s the only control the game offers.  While your finger is on the screen Ruby goes up, and when you let go Ruby dives down.  Naturally timing is the key, because if you hold to long or don’t let go soon enough you won’t be able to dodge the oncoming enemies.  At least you’re spared the agony of having to worry about floors or ceilings like you do in most cave flyer style games.  On the other hand, each level beyond the first has a boss to deal with, which could be anything from a large eel that covers the width of the screen or a crab that skates across the top of the water on a leaf and tosses its babies at you.

Along the way you’ll want to rip nets to free your friends.  Not only is it the right thing to do, but any friends that are following you at the end of the level will “net” you bonus points, and should you happen to get hit with at least one friend following you the friends will act as a buffer so you get a second chance.  There are also stars you can collect that will let you upgrade your power ups, which fall under the typical gamut of things like a speed boost, slow motion, a shield and a magnet.  There are a few extra characters to unlock as well, though I don’t think they make any difference to game play and you’ll be collecting stars for quite a while to get them.  At the beginning of a swim you’ll be presented with three goals to achieve, and once you’ve completed all of them (which may take several tries) you’ll move up a level and get three more goals.  At least for a while, every time you go up a level you’ll earn a new friend that gives you a higher score multiplier.

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The visuals are quite nice.  I’m pretty sure it’s typical computer generated imagery, but the characters especially have a claymation look to them.  The backgrounds are nicely detailed and there’s a decent amount of animation.  They even did a pretty good job with the water effects.  The sound effects help bring the world alive – it’s especially reassuring to hear the cheers of your friends as you bring them home.  The music is fun, but it does get a bit repetitive after a while.

If you love “infinite” games you should have no problem getting into Fin Friends, and you might even get as addicted as you would to any other such game.  Just don’t expect to find anything new here.  Nice visuals, a decent soundtrack and plenty of objectives formulate the basis for an entertaining but “been there, done that” experience.

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: Fin FriendsDeveloper: Claybox
Reviewed Ver:Min OS Req:4.0
Price:$0.99App Size:
  • Ruby is quite responsive
  • The bosses are fun
  • Visuals look pretty sweet
  • Music is upbeat
  • Nothing new
  • Don’t know progress of objectives until complete
  • Only seems to be one music track

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