Seeing the title of this game and you think of Trolly Bird and quite rightly so as it’s by the same author, David Martinez. Now, at the time of its release, Trolly Bird was one of countless Flappy Bird clones but over on the Android / iOS market the clones soon varied with different animals, objects and other weird and wonderful twists added to the games including one called Splashy Fish… Bearing that in mind, my immediate thought when seeing this new release was that Martinez had simply re-hashed his original, made a few tweaks and set it underwater but fortunately it’s a brand new game so you can breathe a sigh relief. Or can you?
As with it’s predecessor, Trolly Fish is a rather simplistic game. Set uderwater, you control a fish (if you hadn’t already figured that part out) who seems to have an uncontrolable urge to collect stars. Not starfish mind you, just stars that seem to be floating around under the sea. Collecting them would be fairly straightforward if it weren’t for the sharks, barracuda and other fish determined to stop you. What follows as far as the game is concerned is a side scrolling collect-em-up where you have to dodge the on-coming fish using the analogue stick or d-pad while collecting as many stars as you can…
And that’s pretty much it really. It’s game over when you collide with any other fish or any objects that litter the seabed, and you score a single point for each star that you collect and as you collect stars the game continues to gather speed. It’s a simplistic game so anyone can pick up and play it in a matter seconds but for me it doesn’t seem to have the same addictive gameplay as Trolly Bird. While Trolly Bird’s gameplay was limited to a single button press, there was something strangely compelling about it but here I found the game lacking somewhat. I’m certainly not saying that it wasn’t a fun game to play but throughout it didn’t feel as if I was achieving anything.
With side-scrollers like this, very much like endless runners, while there’s no real goal to the game you know that you’re constantly playing to beat your personal best and get as far as you can in the game and the key factor here is distance. The distribution of the stars in Trolly Fish is completely random so it’s not just a case of avoiding the other fish to be able to get them but how frequent the stars are, hoping that the stars and other fish don’t overlap, whether you get several stars in quick succession so you could have a short game but have more stars to collect (or that are physically possible to collect) than one that lasts longer) and it’s that consistency that hampers the game.
Visually the game is attractive enough, with bright, bold cartoon graphics that are well animated throughout and the game scrolls smoothly – essential for a game like this. My only real gripe is with the background graphics. While the foreground visuals for the seabed scrolls past, the background stays static and thus provides no sense of movement at all. While this worked fine for Trolly Bird because of the scrolling pillars, for Trolly Fish this really impacts on the look of the game.
Sound is limited to a cheerful tune that plays throughout and cutesy sound effects but again, unlike Trolly Bird, there’s no option to turn the music off and it soon becomes repetitively.
I know I’m continually making comparisions to Trolly Bird but I really had high expectations of this. However I think there’s a lot of wasted potential. With such a limited game, more really needs to be offered to the players to give it more long term appeal – separate themed stages, goals to reach, a record of distance swimmed – a whole host of ideas that could really add more to the game but without anything more than what’s on offer I’m really not too sure what to make of the game as it stands. Is it a fun game? Yes. Is it something that you’ll keep coming back to repeatedly? That’s where I’m not too sure and I think it’s one of those games where the novelty may wear off a little too quickly. Still a fun diversion, but don’t expect too much or something that you’ll be returning to a few months down the line.
At A Glance
- Title: Trolly Fish
- Publisher: David Martinez Gaming
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Local Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 11Mb