Craneballs’ Fish Heroes blatantly wears its influences on its proverbial sleeve. The immediate reaction is Angry Birds in 3D, but Wii gamers will also recognize some strong similarities to the terrific block-destruction game Boom Blox. So, if nothing else, Fish Heroes certainly ‘borrows’ from good stock.
Thankfully, Fish Heroes is fun. The graphics are goofy, because everything is a block here. The fish heroes the player controls are blocks, the structures are all blocks, and the deceitful sharks are blocks as well. It’s by no means the best looking game out there, but it offers a distinctive graphic style.
Bowl ‘em over.
The plot about fish trying to drive off sharks is funny, if threadbare, but provides the familiar birds vs. pigs structure to the gameplay. Even the controls are largely identical to Angry Birds, except for one major change– Fish Heroes is in 3D. Players shoot their fish into the level instead of across a side-scrolling map.
The game cleverly allows complete control over the camera angle, so players can rotate around the block structure and change their perspective. Since the key to knocking over all the sharks is to hit the right blocks in the right way, there’s a lot of camera manipulation. Wood, stone, glass, and other types of blocks abound, and the gravity physics are good enough to make knocking out support beams seem realistic.
That said, the physics do feel a bit inconsistent. The same shot can lead to random results, and the 3D nature of the gameplay can lead to trouble guessing the depth of any given fish launch. To aid with proper aiming, however, a handy crosshair appears when you start to pull back on the fish sling shot.
As expected, there are several different types of fish. The game starts players off with a simple clown fish, but later on, mass-heavy whales and the especially entertaining exploding puffer fish come into play. There are seven different fish, but the game waits quite a few levels before introducing them all.
Fish Heroes is remarkably easy to play, making it an excellent choice for younger gamers as well, although conquering some of the levels will likely require adult help. There are a lot of levels to conquer as well. 105 block and shark-busting levels are currently available, which is a lot of bang for your buck. Overall, the game is fun and charming, if not all that creative. The physics are a bit off at times, but the gameplay is easy to get into and fun for all ages, with plenty of content right from the start.