Jun 9, 2011

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Review: Mighty Fin

Review: Mighty Fin

Fin is a working fish who desperately needs a vacation.  Money is tight, so he books a suspiciously cheap – and possibly deadly –  “Round The World Tour” from Shady Sal’s.  Can you make the most of Fin’s vacation, or will you fall to one of the deadly hazards and go belly up?

Mighty Fin comes from the creators of Scarlett and the Spark Of Life, Launching Pad Games.  You guide Fin through eight different levels as he collects bubbles for higher scores and costumes for aesthetic purposes.  Controls are similar to Tiny Wings, as touching the screen causes Fin to descend, and releasing it allows him to leap out of the water.  While simple in concept, the later levels become much tougher, and it’s easy to mistime a leap and get gutted on the side of an iceberg or ship.  Mastering the controls is key, though in order to maximize your score, you’ll need to take risks, which often lead to paths with higher-scoring gold bubbles.  Upon successfully completing each level you are graded from bronze to gold depending on how many bubbles you picked up on your way.  Each gold earned grants you another costume and unlocks an endless mode for the respective level beaten.

The game is made with tons of love, and it shows with pleasing visuals and nice animation.  The music is nothing to write home about, but was never an issue, and overall, audibly the game was pretty good.  Each of the 27 costumes were varied and often hilarious in description.  The hazards were animated well, and the gameplay itself was very smooth, minus the occasional hiccup.  All in all, the game delivered in its presentation. Compared to similar arcade titles, this variation is welcomed and enjoyable.

Unfortunately, the gameplay inevitably becomes repetitive.  The eight levels vary enough, providing different means to kill Fin and a change of scenery, but become stale during the endless modes.  Each level has a set number of obstacles to traverse and they’re thrown at the player at different times, but eventually it gets tiring seeing the same things over and over again.  What’s worse is that no matter how far you get in endless mode, the difficulty doesn’t seem to change much, and play could continue for what seems like an eternity as long as you play it safe.  This is great for leaderboard whores, but most will likely stop once they achieve a gold score and unlock the new costume for that specific level.

The game is a blast to play, though, on your way to completing each task.  I enjoyed repeating levels to grab a costume that I missed, or maximizing my score to get higher on the leaderboards.  Many people had issues with Tiny Wings, yet I loved this game, and most likely that’s due to the ease in difficulty.  While Mighty Fin can grow in challenge, the game can easily be completed in one sitting and it’s not too difficult to unlock every costume.  It’s not hard to see Launch Pad Games adding in more replay value with new costumes and GameCenter achievements, but as of this time the game is somewhat short.  With no multiplayer support or extra challenges, the game can quickly go from satisfying addiction, to finished, to “What next?”

Make no mistake, though, because Mighty Fin is satisfying and fun.  I and my girlfriend spent many hours playing through each level and comparing scores, and for the majority of the time we both enjoyed ourselves.  Addiction is opinionated, so while I completed the game and don’t really feel the desire to play again, she continues to play and enjoy herself.  All in all, the game is worth your dollar and (in my opinion) much more enjoyable the a certain bird-flinging franchise.

Mighty Fin
Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (iOS 3.1+)
Genre: Arcade
Release Date: 5/27/2011
Developer: Launching Pad Games
Publisher: Launching Pad Games
ESRB Rating: 9+
MSRP: $0.99