Tigerfish are real fish. But in the iPhone / iPod Touch game, the Tigerfish has eyebrows. Tigerfish, by Marcos Riffel, is a cute and cartoony game, probably most ideal for preadolescent boys. Floating around and eating the weak, while shooting at the strong, might appeal to that audience. As for me, I actually felt bad for the little fish. They make these scared sounds when you get too close. But if you want to fight against the bigger fish, you’ll need to eat the weaker ones.
The basic objective is to find the right key to unlock a castle door. Along the way, the Tigerfish can collect treasures and power-ups. I’m not sure why a fish needs keys, gold or diamonds, so clearly this is a fantasy game. The motivation of the Tigerfish isn’t explained either. What is the purpose of the quest? It’s basically eat, shoot and don’t get eaten. If you’re looking for a spiritually uplifting parable, that’s not really what this game is about. It’s more of a humorous and cute adventure.
Tigerfish is more for casual players, as it is on the easy side. Too often, the controls put up more of a challenge than the hostile fish. Each time the Tigerfish touches something dangerous, health is lost. Lose all of the hearts and the game is over. This happens rather abruptly, as there is no death animation. Instead, the game goes into loading mode. In general, the game could use more animation. The Tigerfish doesn’t flap its fins when it moves. It should have swimming motion.
Optimizing GameSalad games is a concern. I couldn’t even play the game at first. Apple’s iTunes wouldn’t allow me to put it on my iPod Touch. After I tried the 1.0.2 update, the game worked great. For a GameSalad game, the loading times are well managed.
The graphics are really crisp too. Tigerfish is filled with bright and vivid artwork. The music is great. There’s rockin’ music at title screen and playful music while the game is in play. The audio and the visuals add to the enjoyment of Tigerfish. I especially enjoyed the Parallax scrolling effects. It reminds me of the days of 16-bit gaming consoles. Although, there is a slight issue. When the Tigerfish approaches the edges of the scene, the background images keep moving. The scrolling should be relative to the camera position and not the Tigerfish.
It’s hard to be too critical of a 99¢ game. Just listening to the theme song alone could justify the expense. While Tigerfish might not appeal to everyone, I think it can be quite entertaining to those that like it. Well duh, that’s true for just about everything. So, who might like Tigerfish? Young (and possibly rowdy) kids that are in desperate need of something fun, might enjoy the aggressive (but cute) nature of Tigerfish.
Full Disclosure: A promo code was received for the review of this game. I am the author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.