Fishy Warfare

Fishy Warfare in the brook –

Why does your game have no hook?

Games like Fishy Warefare have historical importance.  The Atari 2600 launched with Combat (based on the arcade hit Tank), a game where players stood on opposite sides of the screen, taking shots at each other.  The first video game to have a microprocessor (as opposed to discrete logic) was Midway’s 1975 hit Gun Fight, which was later upgraded to a similar game called Boot Hill (which hit the Atari 2600 as Outlaw).  You’ll notice these games all came out in the 70s and really don’t hold that much relevance today.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t attempt to reinvent this formula that existed a decade before my father was a US citizen.  I’m saying that you have to give it some kind of hook to make it relevant today.  Or at least attempt to be better than those moldy oldies.

Fishy Warfare is a worst XBLIG of the year contender based entirely on uselessness.  It looks ugly.  There’s no multiplayer.  The AI is brain-dead.  The gameplay is boring.  The upgrades are dull.  The final nail is the insulting 240MSP price tag.  All this for a game that was hardly ambitious in concept to begin with.  You’re on one side of a screen.  Your AI opponent is on the other.  You shoot until one of you is dead.  Then you upgrade your ship and do it again.  The game presents nothing resembling a challenge until you fight a giant alligator thing that has some kind of laser-firebreath thing that can kill you in one hit.  Until I got to it, I never needed upgrade my ship.  After dying against this, I had enough money to get the best weapon, ship, hull, and propeller.  So I did.  Then I had to fight my way back to the Alligator, because the game sends you backwards and makes you replay previous fights when you lose (just to make sure maximum boredom and repetition is achieved).  At which point, it instakilled me again.  Grumble.

This is the instakilling Alligator instakilling a dude piloting the frog. Familiarize yourself with this, because it will happen to you too. You know, assuming you don't spend your Microsoft Points on THREE better games that have actual polish to them.

This is the instakilling Alligator instakilling a dude piloting the frog. Familiarize yourself with this, because it will happen to you too. You know, assuming you don’t spend your Microsoft Points on THREE better games that have actual polish to them.

Despite what people think, I do look for good things to say about even the worst games.  But, I couldn’t find one for Fishy Warfare.  The graphics look like they were drawn in MS Paint.  The backgrounds are a bit on the loud side, which sometimes makes the projectiles hard to see.  The highest upgraded weapon is also the most visually uninteresting of the whole lot.  That’s extraordinarily nit-picky, but for some reason that stuck with me long after I finished playing.  Maybe because it sums up everything wrong with Fishy Warfare.  Everything feels so rushed and not handled with care.  I don’t know what else to say.  Boring.  Bad.  Overpriced.  You could probably buy a couple actual fighting fish for the same price and make them fight to the death, then eat the loser.  And then eat the winner too, because it probably is meatier and yummier.

xboxboxartFishy Warfare was developed by Elemental Zeal

240 Microsoft Points could buy the top three games on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard for the same price as this in the making of this review.  I don’t have a joke to go with that, just thought I would state the obvious.


About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

2 Responses to Fishy Warfare

  1. When will devs spot the thing about busy backgrounds? Players need to SEE the shots. And the enemies too, for that matter.

    It’s a shame the price tag issue has to rear its ugly head but the fact of the matter is that 240 MSP is THREE TIMES the price of most XBLIGs, including some of the best. So even if $3 wouldn’t be a bad price for a particular game, it has to be put in context. Is someone going to buy Fishy Warfare or are they going to buy Dead Pixels AND Escape Goat AND LaserCat? No contest.

  2. trojainous says:

    Watching the release trailer makes Fishy Warfare look sort of ok, but even as they cycle through the various subs, it’s evident that the gameplay isn’t deep and it looks like the game will get very boring very quickly.

    Honestly, it seems like Fishy Warfare would make for an interesting HTML5 game demo, but that’s about it.

    And yeah, what is up with designers? I often see the same thing on websites–too busy. No concept of using contrast, shading and dimmer colors to create visual distance. This was covered in my high school art class!

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