Want a perfectly matched catch of fish to go?
Match three games litter our inbox here at TouchGen, and for each one I try I get more and more disappointed. Usually the PR blurb states something that the game is like Bejeweled, but with cheese, or aliens or gold coins. None of these games come close to the quality of Bejeweled that is the game to beat in the match three genre. A couple of years ago there were a couple of proper attempts at redefining the genre by adding a third dimension to the matching. Recently the genre has been in a bit of a lull, which is a shame as match three games are among the best time wasters ever. So when a couple of penguins show up with their own match three game I didn’t get my hopes up. Penguins are among the animals I like the least, slimy smelly buggers.
Grumble & Piccolo are two penguin entrepreneurs that have taken fishing to the next level. Not content with just swimming about doing the dirty work mano o fisho they have their own fishing boat. And why shouldn’t they, I mean us humans have big ass fishing boats fixing our fish. Only those with too much spare time can imagine themselves standing in a stream with a rod hoping to catch a smelly fish to gut.
For each day there is a catch quota that has to be reached to proceed. This quota is divided into the different fish, turtles and other see foodstuff available. Once a quota is reached for an item you can focus on those with numbers left. No matter how much you match up if you fail to get all quotas filled.
This level based structure is quite refreshing, and gives an excellent sense of progression often missing from match three games. With four worlds there are quite a lot of levels to complete, and considering that the level of difficulty is quite good at progressing it can give quite a few hours of fun. Levels are timed, and the time available differs between a couple of minutes up to about five. Taking it easy to see patterns, and combos is always a good thing. Those times I have played without a plan I have messed up.
The game ends in two ways: the time is up, or two mines get too close to each other. Mines, and debris are part of the gameplay that affect your options. Mines are dropped onto the board randomly, and as long as they don’t touch they can be ignored. Debris is there from the start of most levels, and don’t let anything drop down below.
Matching four, or five fish or other items gives bonus items that can be used to clear out mines, debris and catch. These items are lowered in crab cages, and you select where to place them at the top. After that they move the same way as other tiles. To activate you simply tap them, and you are able to clear away debris holding some of the fishing area.
Between the worlds you get a cartoon showing the progression of our entrepreneurial duo. These are neat, but I would have liked more. Grumble and Piccolo are the first penguins that have earned my respect in ages. They are the first since Pingu that I actually want to see what happens.
The graphics are ok, but lacks that graphical flair that is a trademark of Bejeweled. Still the difference is huge in subject matter: diamonds versus wet fish. One thing that I would like to see in an update is support for the iPhone 5. Perhaps an extra layer to use for matching for iPhone 5 users?
Salty seadogs would probably not like the soundtrack that much, unless they were from Alabama that is. A combination of banjo and kids tunes result in a quite cool, and surprisingly refreshing soundtrack. The sound effects are your standard affair.
The gameplay of Grumble & Piccolo’s Fishing Trip is really fun, and that is what matters most. It is easy to get into a mode of trying to beat times to get the coveted three stars for all levels. There is however no real usage for these stars other than for your own pleasure. I would have liked to be able to buy a new boat, or outfits for our heroes.
Grumble & Piccolo show that match three games can be as fresh as the prawns they have stored in their hold. Bring me more games with these penguins please.
Grumble & Piccolo’s Fishing Trip $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Thumbstar Games Ltd