Angry Birds be warned: You’ve got some solid competition in Banzai Blowfish.
So let’s say you’re a blowfish hanging out in Lake Fuji with all your blowfish friends. One day, King Hikari’s son goes on a fishing bender and decides to kidnap all your friends. The proper response to this, it turns out, is to strike out on a quest to rescue all your captured companions. However, since you’re (literally) a fish out of water, this is easier said than done.
Banzai Blowfish is a physics puzzler much in the same way that Angry Birds is. In fact, calling this an Angry Birds clone wouldn’t be completely out of line, though that’s meant more as a compliment than anything else. This game features a lot of the same elements as Angry Birds: the simple, cartoony graphics, the easy-to-learn controls, and the highly addictive gameplay.
That said, the game does enough differently to stand out on its own, largely due to the clever platforming elements. Instead of being required to wreck structures made out of different materials, players are required to move a blowfish from one point to another in each level. At the end of every map is another blowfish, trapped in a bamboo cage.
Each level contains different items which help move the intrepid blowfish. These can come in the form of fans, spinners, springboards, and catapults (to name a few). Some of the items move or activate automatically, though others have to be tapped (or held down on) to activate. It’s a nicely-implemented way of keeping players engaged in the game, and the levels usually feel challenging instead of impossible.
Generally, this system works pretty well, though some of the platforms didn’t always respond when they were tapped, which became frustrating during the time-sensitive portions of certain levels.
The graphics in Banzai Blowfish are charming. Everything has a clean, slightly-abstract feel that works well with the game’s Asian theme. The lines are crisp, the colors are bright, and the levels’ themes change often enough that they never grow boring. It should be noted that each of the game’s five environmental themes (rock, snow, night, water, volcano) don’t affect the physics of the gameplay itself. They just look nice, that’s all.
The audio is ok, with pleasant-enough music floating around in the background. That said, it would be nice to have the ability to play one’s own iPod music, but that isn’t an option in the game’s current incarnation.
Banzai Blowfish is an adorable little game. It’s fun and addictive, and relatively easy to breeze through. There are a couple of kinks that need to be ironed out, but if Red Piston keeps on delivering content (like it’s promised it will), then this app should have no problem becoming a hit.