In the world of iPhone development, it’s hard for a hit game to not have a competitor trail very far behind it. For Mighty Fin, Tiny Wings will always be its forefather. The games are fairly similar in core gameplay, but Mighty Fin takes many departures in a lot of good ways, setting itself apart rather dramatically. It certainly belongs in the same genre as Tiny Wings, but it’s a game that feels very different overall.
In case Tiny Wings is unfamiliar to you, here’s how the game works. In Mighty Fin, you play as a fish. You move form the left to the right, but you are only able to control the upward and downward movements. Hold your finger on the screen and the little fish moves downward. Lift your finger off the screen and the fish moves upward. You always have forward momentum from your left to right movement, so if you press your finger to the screen for a moment and then let go, the fish will leap out of the water in a manner reminiscent to Ecco the Dolphin. The substantial challenge of the game comes form dodging obstacles and collecting point bubbles by moving upward and downward and in and out of the water.
The concept takes a moment to fully grasp, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself leaping out of the water to collect points and diving deep in no time. It’s fast without being too much of a frenzy, and somehow it feels balletic. The more or less single control also means that the interface of the game works really well on the touch screen.
The game starts out very easy, almost to a degree that doesn’t prepare you for the grueling final levels. The obstacles are laid out in a way in which it’s difficult not to dodge them early on, and you spend almost as much time flying through the air as you do swimming in the water. The last two levels, though, are very hard, requiring many retries and frustrating restarts that pull you back to the beginning every time. After mastering the first few levels, the challenge is a welcome one.
The game only has eight levels altogether, each lasting only two or three minutes. Beating the core game takes almost no time at all, but there’s a lot of incentive to return. For one, there are gold medals to be earned. Each level also has an endless mode that can be played after completion, making way for more medals and high score opportunities. The greatest reason to come back is the additional unlockable costumes. New costumes are awarded for performing well, and they are also hidden within the levels. There are a lot of costumes to unlock, and they are all interesting and sometimes funny.
The visual style of the game is a sharp and colorful one; it almost looks like cut-out pieces of paper. It works well for the game and gives it a clean look. Only one song plays throughout the entire game, and while it’s fine to listen to, it can become repetitive. Don’t bother breaking out the earbuds for this one.
Mighty Fin is a good game, but it can become frustrating at the end. It offers leaderboards through the game center but no achievements, unfortunately. There isn’t much else to complain about when it comes to Mighty Fin. It uses the touch screen well, rewards the player with costumes, and features penguins–which are great for any game. It’s exciting and fast-paced and has a great style, and if you’ve got some friends playing then high score battles will undoubtedly occur. It’s not going to take iTunes by storm, but it’s most definitely a game worth checking out.