Mighty Fin, a side-scrolling swimmer from Launching Pad Games, is now available from the app store. Using control mechanics akin to those in Tiny Wings, you’ll need to lead Fin, a bug-eyed orange fish, through sea and air as he collects bubbles and costumes and avoids the occasional obstacle.
Mighty Fin Pros:
- Crisp, clean art style with varied environments
- Cheery, arcade-style background music
- Tap to dive, release to leap
- Normal and Endless modes for the 8 included levels
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards
Mighty Fin Cons:
- Overly easy gameplay doesn’t provide enough challenge to hold our interest
- Needs more levels or difficulty modes
- No achievements
Mighty Fin only contains 8 levels through which to guide the main character, though completing each does unlock an Endless option for replay sake. Plunging into the water, Fin automatically swims toward the right side of the screen, happening upon configurations of bubbles amid spiky land masses, sharks, jellyfish, and other dangers. When touching the screen, Fin dives for the sea floor. Releasing your finger causes him to use his rising momentum to propel himself out of the water. If you time it properly, you should be able to snare bubbles which drive up your score and build your multiplier. You are graded with bronze, silver, or gold medals at the end of your run. An occasional costume item (snorkel, top hat, rasta gear, etc.) can be captured (or unlocked by earning gold medals) and used to outfit the fashionable fish for purely aesthetic purposes. And that’s pretty much the game in a nutshell. It’s quite easy to complete the included levels, which aren’t all that long. The level design makes it pretty easy to avoid the obstacles that can end your run, but capturing a large number of bubbles can be a frustrating chore, as you are often at the mercy of the controls. There were a number of times that we couldn’t build enough speed to get high enough out of the water to avoid a spiky ice floe or we’d be crash right into a jellyfish as we came out of the sky. Playing it safe by staying near the sea floor or in the small space where the sky meets the water usually gets you pretty far, though.
The Retina Display graphics are very nice, and certainly drew us to the game. They have sort of a Plunderland quality about them. The animations were very smooth and the physics employed were serviceable, though a bit frustrating at times. Sometimes, there was just no way to maneuver to get high enough, and other times the bubbles were positioned in a way that made it near impossible to pick up just a few, let alone any. Alternate path breaks with bubbles in both lanes assured us that there was no way to collect them all, so we just did our best to find the paths with the most. Bubbles did seem to get pulled toward you as you pass, so you didn’t have to be dead-on to pick them up. The levels are laid out in random fashion, so it’s never the same twice. The soundtrack is cheery enough, offering a lighthearted feeling that often ran counter to the gray and dismal look of some levels. The controls were responsive and easy enough to use, but they just didn’t feel as well-tuned to the game as we’d hoped.
Replay value is present in the form of endless runs, though we didn’t feel the game was compelling enough to return to very often after our initial playthrough. GameCenter integration provides leaderboards for each level/mode combination that can give interested players some incentive to keep playing. At $0.99, Mighty Fin is a 3.5-Dimple offering that seems like it might be a good distraction for the youngest of gamers.
Mighty Fin Review,