FishCraft should be thankful none of the birds are pelicans.

Review of FishCraft on XBLIG: Buy
Let the bodies hit the walls! Let the bodies hit the waaaaaaaa-

FishCraft seems to be trying to leech off of the good names of both MineCraft and Angry Birds. The fish are veeeeeeery much the same as the birds. The cats are cute versions of the pigs. Only more evil. Because they’re cats. The menus are taken whole cloth from Angry Birds. Even the storyline is the same. Then you have the old switcheroo with the name. I see what you did there and I’m not sure I like it, good sir. You do not get a Notch on your belt for cleverness.

The gameplay is very familiar if you’ve played either Angry Birds or Gerbil Physics. There are 63 levels to the game. I know you see two other level packs that you’re sure you can unlock. And I was sure I could if I just beat each level with two stars or better (three star scale) that they would just magically open up. When that didn’t happen I asked the developer directly what’s up with them and was told that those are “updates”. I like the game. Expansion packs are bullshit. I think that with Angry Birds as well. If I see a mode and I’ve paid you good money, I should get those modes now or have clear indication that the modes are under construction. Clicking on the icons in those windows does nothing. Not a negative buzzer. Not a popup saying “coming soon”. Nothing. Fix that.

Aiming is similar but adapted well to suit the controller. It requires little instruction to get the hang of it and I like the addition of a power meter. Left stick aims the cannon. Right stick pans the screen. D-pad controls the power. The triggers zoom in and out. A-button fires. Y-button triggers special powers.

I hate how the camera auto-zooms to a fired fish. I wish that if I zoomed out to watch everything that it would stay zoomed out. I have a 42” TV. I don’t need you to zoom in.

I like that you can just rapid fire the fish. If there are more than one special fish in the air, their special powers are triggered in order of release from the cannon. Nice.

I hate whatever “logic” was used for the physics. I know that it could be better because I’ve seen it in other indie games. Often a cat would be softly bowled over but take no damage and just smile and wave it’s tail in contentment. Sometimes, for no reason I could see, the blocks that have come to a complete rest after being hit would just explode back into violent motion, killing and destroying all in their paths (this happened mostly on levels without explosive crates). Then there are the times where blocks and cats just sank into the bottom of the screen without giving up their points for a kill.

Would it have hurt to have an original fish in there? Even if I didn’t like it, at least it would have changed up the game. Say, a swordfish that if you activate it, it goes into a buzzsaw spin and will travel UP a structure or act as a heavy missile if left be. Or a puffer that would be a mid-weight object that expands into a light weight/bouncy missile. Also, there’s no Eagle equivalent. I think a great white would do nicely for that. Yes I know the Eagle just launched (snicker) but if you’re going whole cloth, you had to imagine that it would appear eventually.

All in all, this game is a Buy. It will remain that way until the true angry animal emerges from the brush made of money and perches on the cash cow we call a console. Let the indie guy make an obvious cash grab. If he can bring me more physics puzzles involving flinging animals at blocks, more power to him.


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