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What I'm Playing: Ninjas that farm, and fish that skip

TechHive Staff | April 23, 2013
Today we're skipping fish with time traveling ninjas.

Cut the Rope: Time Travel will set you back $3 on iOS, but it's free (and ad-supported) on Android. The advertisements aren't too bad, with a banner showing up when you complete stages, and the occasional full screen video between stages (which can be closed quickly, if it bothers you).

Fish Out of Water

iOS, $0.99

Rocket is my point, err... fish. aerodynamic to a fault, she'll skip majestically if you give her a solid horizontal trajectory and are generous with your boosting. Micro the whale is up next; he's a big guy and gives a solid bounce off the surface of the water, so I use him to build some great distance. Finlay the dolphin is my closer. She's consistent; you've got to flick her down towards the water--but not so firmly that she hits the sea floor--and she'll ease into that dolphin-y rhythm, diving in and out of the waves and swimming her little fins off and earning plenty of skips along the way.

Halfbrick Studios' Fish Out of Water is my introduction to the world of fish skipping, a sport some dark corner of my heart hopes is real, or will be real, vile as it may seem. Lift one of six fish (okay, there are some mammals involved) out of the water and hurl them out to sea, and they'll bounce off the surface a few times and then come to a stop. After three fish have been tossed, a panel of five crabs will rate their performance based on the number of skips, the distance they've travelled, the current weather conditions, or whatever they feel like, in the case of hard-to-please Harwood the crab. Jerk.

Every fish skips or bounces a little differently, so you'll need to get plenty of practice tries in before finding a set up you like. You'll also need to take the time of day into account as the game's weather changes on the hour; there were jellyfish out at 2pm today, which gave Micro a few extra bounces but absolutely ruined Finlay's rhythm, requiring me to give other fish a go. By 3pm the weather had cleared and it was smooth sailing. Which of course meant I'd spent an hour staring at my iPad and flicking virtual fish into the air, but surprisingly enough I'm okay with that.

Progress comes in the form of goals. They can be as simple as "skip 50 times" or "cover more than 150 meters with Micro the whale," or as cryptic as "check for rusty hinges." I won't spoil the mystery for you. Once you've completed three goals you'll gain a level and get to choose from one of three chests, which will reward you with crystals. You'll combine those crystals onto a charm template to create power ups, which will boost your score or even bolster your reputation with some of the crabs, which is always nice.


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