Fox Vs Duck in review – Between a fish and a neck embrace…
When I first saw the trailer for Fox Vs Duck (from the makers of the hit title MiniSquadron), I wondered to myself what sort of game this would be, given that the trailer was simply a visually stylized fox chasing around a visually stylized duck, catching it, and… well, lets say the end wasn’t pretty. I love mysterious trailers, so naturally I wanted to try the game. Turns out the game is not much more complicated than the trailer, and oddly enough I’m perfectly okay with that.
This is one of those games where the atmosphere is going to stick out immediately. Fox Vs Duck is minimalist in every sense of the word. The menu items are simple gray bars with white lettering. The duck is a circle with a small beak and little flapping wings, and the killer fish is merely a shadow. The most complex creature is the fox, and even it is limbless, simply hopping around the edge of the pond to try and catch you. The game still looks great, and the pond with its ripples and reflections look incredible. You can’t help but be mesmerized by the whole visual experience.
The music has almost a Zen like quality to it, with subtle tones and occasional wind chime clangs. The sound effects mirror the simplicity of the visuals, with the main noise being the hopping of the fox. I’m pretty sure I’m hearing a slight snap right before the fox tosses a caught duck aside as well – I’ll refer you to my comment about the trailer and let you infer what you will.
Now you’re going to find this a bit of a shock, but the game play is just about as basic as everything else. In the middle of the screen is a pond. Hovering around the pond is a fox, and swimming in the pond is some sort of fish, and apparently they both like ducks. A duck will drop into the center of the pond, and your job is to tilt the device and guide the duck to the edge of the pond without it getting eaten by the fish or the duck. It won’t be easy, however, because in addition to your adversaries there will be lily pads and odd little hills to impede your progress. The lily pads can be shoved to the side, but you must go around the hills.
In Challenge mode you must save as many ducks as possible before your time runs out. In rare instances you’ll receive either a speed up power up or a power up that increases your time a little bit. When you get caught your time diminishes more quickly, but after you save a certain number of ducks, your level goes up one and some time is added back to your meter. In Survival mode you have a certain number of lives to get as many ducks to safety as you can. Again, there are times where you can get a speed power up, but the extra time power up has been replaced with an extra life. The game is OpenFeint enabled with a good number of achievements to be earned, and in something I’m not sure I’ve seen before, they actually have achievements that are earned through totals accumulated by anyone playing the game.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say this game definitely isn’t for anyone. Not only is it probably too basic for “hardcore” gamers, but some casuals gamers might even think the concept is more simplistic than they care for. The game has awesome graphics, but not from a traditional standpoint, and they can even be oddly gruesome for those with a vivid imagination. However, if you’re one of those gamers that is always looking for something different, I really suggest that you not pass up Fox Vs Duck. My only real sticking point with the game is that on one occasion, it bogged down and eventually crashed after less than 30 minutes of play. It’s possible the latest update has fixed this issue, though.
iTunes: Fox Vs Duck