Sunday, 7 October 2012

Glowfish review

Mumbo Jumbo are developers of "premium casual games". The same can be said for PopCap, who make the most popular, high quality casual games on the market, such as Peggle and Plants Vs Zombies. They create simple, arcadey games, but with so much detail and quality that it would be entirely justifiable for them to charge more than they do. Mumbo Jumbo may not be as well known as PopCap, but the quality of their PC title, Glowfish, instantly puts them in the same league. 

Glowfish is the story of one plucky fish, on a journey to save his woman, Coraline, from the evil Dr. Urchin. Set in a gorgeous, neon ocean, you must find your way around the 2D levels, collecting coins, defeating enemies and rescuing baby fish. You can use either the mouse or keyboard to control Glowfish, but the best way by far, is the mouse. You move a cursor around the screen, which Glowfish will follow. The further away the cursor is, the quicker he moves. Simple! There are no distinctive attacks in this game, they are all done through movement. If it's a small enemy, you can just bash them, but if it's bigger than Glowfish, a new tactic is needed. Circling enemies over and over produces deadly bubbles, which home in on your enemies and shrinks them down to size. This tactic is often your only option, as the giant enemies close in on you in droves. Once you defeat an evil fish, you are rewarded with baby fish and coins. 
Sometimes, the enemies can overwhelm you.
Baby fish, once rescued, will form a line behind you. They follow your every move, just like the old game Snake. You must rescue a set amount and escort them to safe zones, in order to unblock the path forward. It's a pretty simple way of progressing, but finding all the baby fish does take some time, and is great fun. Finding secret areas is also satisfying. Coins are used for upgrading your Super Chums. Every now and then throughout the game, you will come across these friendly fish, known as Super Chums. They will help you out in your quest, and upgrading them just improves their abilities. Once you have unlocked a few Super Chums, you must start to think tactically about who to upgrade and take with you on the levels.
The world looks great and the baby fish are too cute.

With beautifully simple graphics, fluid movement and animation, pick up and play gameplay and increasingly challenging and fun levels, Glowfish has everything that any good casual game should have. Some gamers may be put off by the somewhat childish graphics, but that would be a mistake. Glowfish is a great game for all ages and genders. Mumbo Jumbo should be very proud of Glowfish, and hopefully they'll become a household name. Does PopCap have a new contender? Only time will tell...

8/10

by Louis Gardner

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