Just remember to keep swimming and never look over your shoulder...or in this case, fin.
As a title, Splishi Splashi doesn't fit well at all. A title like that conjures images of people frolicking in a pool and launching off a diving board, perhaps at someone's birthday party. Presents. Balloons. Cake. Innocent fun.
That said, we can't help but chuckle, because the game Splishi Splashi features a horrifying premise. It's also fun to play, and a great example of why iPhone and iPad gaming is so accessible.
In a sense, Splishi Splashi would seem like just another running (in this case, swimming) game, where the goal is to guide a tiny character through a never ending environment without hitting something.
While true, the developers added one important wrinkle. There's a rather large fish literally on your tail, and it won't stop until the beast swallows your much smaller fish whole.
You need to keep your fish moving as quickly as possible through the water while collecting various power-ups along the way. Green orbs increase stamina, while blue provide a necessary speed boost. Tan award you with bonus points, and finally, gold net you four times the bonus points.
What ensues is a frantic race for your life that will ultimately result in death, since the game has no real conclusion. It's just a matter of seeing how far you can go and how many points your fish receives.
To help matters, controls couldn't be simpler. You slide a finger up and down the right side of the screen to instruct the fish to swim in those directions, leaping from the water and quickly diving beneath the surface. You'll get the hang of it in no time.
Even better, the game has retro style graphics ripped from the 80s, while 90s inspired rock plays in the background.
The only complaint, and it's minor, involves earned XP. The creators are a bit vague in how your fish enhances its abilities, though it appears the stamina bar grows larger. That's probably it.
For a buck, Splishi Splashi offers a few hours of fun, especially if you aim to climb the Game Center leaderboard. If anything, it gives new perspective to our place on the food chain.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
What's Hot: Simple premise, addictive, easy to learn controls, 8-bit graphics, universal, Game Center support, $0.99.
What's Not: Grinding to earn XP.