Two things that probably shouldn't surprise you about Disney's new game Fish Hooks. First, it's based on a well established cartoon franchise. Second, it's delivered in the form of that old stalwart of mobile gaming, the physics puzzler. So, no big shocks for the animated series' first game outing.
Challenged to become the master of the waters, your task is to collect as many apples as you can before heading to the exit, and your primary weapon against Fish Hooks' fifty-plus levels is the humble bubble. A tap of the screen both creates and bursts them, so if you need to tilt a platform so those delicious apples can be gobbled up, you can pop a bubble under one end and turn it into a see-saw.
Each level has three apples to be collected. Once you've grabbed as many as you can, you need to lead your fishy friend towards a suction pipe exit which does a mercifully forgiving job of sucking you in, even if you don't land exactly square-on with the opening.
You can even place bubbles around your character to have them float upwards, while another tap of the screen removes it completely and sends them plummeting towards the seabed. Whether you're floating or dropping, just don't let them rise to the top of the screen, fall off the bottom, or drift off to the sides as it will end your attempt.
There are five chapters in the game, and each one introduces a new mechanic or a twist to the gameplay. At first you'll simply need to see-saw your way around the environment, while in later levels you'll need to bounce off springy turtles, avoid game-ending spiky coral, and dodge anvils which might handily smash up that coral, but can also send you on a very wayward journey around the screen!
Disney's done a great job with the environments too, faithfully recreating the look and feel of the animated series, and all of your favorite characters make an appearance. If you're tired of playing with the same character, you can even switch between them for a change of style
Fish Hooks isn't the most challenging physics puzzler we've ever played, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, given how often these games come to lean on mere frustration in lieu of satisfying gameplay. If you have kids then it will definitely take them longer to master the game. Fortunately, and even if you do polish the game off in short order, everyone will have a great deal of fun working their way through Disney's latest.
What's Hot: A fun and refreshing physics puzzler that will delight fans of the animated series.
What's Not: Older genre fans may feel deprived of a solid challenge. A shorter-lived affair than most.