Fish Listening to Radio

Compete with everyone to get the worms, but cooperate to protect the radio. Fish Listening to Radio features a state-of-the-art ukulele sound track and super keen worm eating action. Color the pond as you rack up points and show the other players who's king fish.

This looks like garbage, I know, but the hand drawn art has a certain charm about it, and Fish Listening to Radio plays somewhat similarly to a childhood favorite of mine, Fishing Derby, with a twist. First note that Fish Listening to Radio is distinctly a multiplayer game. Even though it says it supports one to four players, the single player game is as enjoyable as is in Outlaw, which is to say not much at all. The game will allow a single player to play the game, but without any sort of AI competition, the game is as bad as it probably looks.

Add in a friend or two, however, and suddenly Fish Listening to Radio because a good bit of silly fun. The premise is simple: the player must guide the fish around and eat as many worms as possible. The worms are only safe to eat as they are lowered into the water; once the hook starts to ascend, it'll catch the fish worm or no worm, and the player loses a life. The fish can occasionally nibble at a starfish which runs along the bottom of the screen, which is desirable since the bite grants 50 points instead of the 10 an eaten worm does. Fish Listening to Radio is a simple points competition, and up to four fish can compete to eat the most before running out of lives.

The twist here is that the fish have to listen to the radio. Once a hook nets the radio and takes it and the ukulele soundtrack with it out the water, the game is over regardless of lives left. It makes for a small but interesting twist where the bottom feeders have to look out for each other and protect the radio to grant themselves a shot at the top spot. I've always loved that element in games, intended or not, such as when lesser Bomberman players form a loose alliance to take out the leader, and Fish Listening to Radio wears that mentality on its sleeve.

Fish Listening to Radio is fully enjoyable within the demo grace period. I don't get many chances for local multiplayer, so I passed on it, but I enjoyed what I got to play of it. I have to imagine that Ziba Scott (credited for ink, code, and design) and Alice Lam (credited for color, music, and design) purposely designed the game to look as if a kindergarten child made it, and that sense of style may be unappealing to some as the mark of a thoughtless game. Instead, I see it as a unique, small game which evokes the simple multiplayer fun of those early console titles such as the aforementioned Fishing Derby and consider it worth a look.

★★★☆☆
June 7, 2010
February 12, 2010 | 80 points
Developer | Video | Download

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