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iPhone  header logo

Bellyfish


For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Darlin' it's better, down where it's wetter

Product: Bellyfish | Publisher: Duello Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade, Casual, Endless running | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
 
Bellyfish iPhone, thumbnail 1
As the old song goes: fish gotta swim and birds gotta... well, actually, birds aren't so important here. Bellyfish, you see, is all about a fish doing what a fish gotta do - namely, swimming for its life in this brand-new 'endless' action game.

The endless genre is so ubiquitous on iOS these days that there's limited scope for genuine innovation. Wisely then, Bellyfish opts to focus on polish - delivering a game that, while entertaining enough, makes little attempt to deviate from the well-established endless-climbing formula.

Rising damp

This time around, you're placed at the bottom of the ocean and asked to flap your little fins as you scramble up the screen, dodging amoeba, jellyfish and other deep sea-dwelling miscreants - all deviously arranged to create a game that turns out to be far tougher than its cute, casual trappings might suggest.

You're not quite utterly defenceless, though. As you swish back and forth, you're able to collect bubbles and slowly increase your health - letting you withstand more than a single collision with one of the game's exotic enemies.

Occasionally, power-ups drift by, imbuing you with a range of handy skills - from chilli-powered speed bursts to enemy-repelling ghost suits. Coins are used to upgrade the effectiveness of each power-up and can, of course, be bolstered with a ton of in-app purchase options.

IAPs explained
Bellyfish is perfectly playable without resorting to IAPs, but it might just be tough enough to tempt your wallet out of hiding.

Of the consumables, coin packs, and upgrades available, the £2.99 Coin Doubler is perhaps most useful - offering a relatively cheap way to quickly improve your all-important power-ups.
Motion of the ocean

All this action, incidentally, is controlled by tilting your device as Bellyfish provides his own forward momentum. It's a reassuringly responsive setup, too, giving the game a fast, fluid, and surprisingly satisfying skin-of-your-teeth vibe.

Trouble is, as slickly diverting as Bellyfish is there's really nothing to breathe life into its overly-familiar design. Sure, there's some fun to be had here, but in a sea of other endless-climbers there's little about Bellyfish that truly bubbles to the surface.
 
Bellyfish
Reviewer photo
Matt Wales | 22 May 2013
A slickly produced, decently entertaining endless-climber - but one that's far too familiar to stand out from the heaving genre crowd
 
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