The first time you play Small Fry, you might be tempted to write it off as just another Tiny Wings wannabe. Simple, one-touch controls let you send your hero swooping to the bottom of the ocean floor, before rushing back up into the sky, but there's a little more to this new game from the developers at No Monkeys than at first meets the eye.
The single finger control scheme of the game works pretty well, although you'll find it tough to grab the currency that litters the sea until you've got a few upgrades under your belt. You'll have more fun in the air though, and it's here that the game really differentiates itself from the competition. Air bubbles are sprinkled above sea level, and if you can bounce off three consecutively, you'll avoid the attentions of a game-ending shark who constantly chases from the rear. Get really high into the stratosphere and you can even take part in the game's third slice of gameplay, where you float through space to dodge asteroids.
Small Fry's a free-to-play game, and so an advert or two here and there's only to be expected. Unfortunately, they take the form of those between-screen App Store links that are so prevalent these days, and seemingly designed with a little lag in mind so you end up unavoidably clicking on them and being whisked out of the game entirely. That we experienced two such problems before even having a single play of the game meant first impressions were poor.
Ad niggles aside, there's not an awful lot to dislike about Small Fry. The game's influences are pretty clear, but it's also got a few twists that make it very much its own game. Combine this fun gameplay with some of the neatest artwork and audio we've seen in a free-to-play game for some time, and you suspect the developers at No Monkeys are about to land themselves a pretty good haul.