a smoll game about a fish

a small game about a fish, made in 9 hr for Alakajam #17

left and right to wiggle

the river-flow should very slowly get faster / get as far as you can (the number of screens traversed is counted)

red spikes hurt / yellow scales give a bit more life / watch out for the light-blue currents / plants can block you, but only horizontally

Comments (10)

 • 11 months ago • 

Weird but cool controls! It felt very fishy, especially when I pulled of a looping against the current to get a shield upgrade :)

In the beginning I was happy that the difficulty was very low so I could get used to the controls and figure out how to handle the fish and the obstacles.
But the diffculty never really picks up, so it felt repetitive and not very challenging. I made it to 118 screens and stopped there.

Also: I think this game is really bad for people with RSI problems, just so you know ahead of time.

I liked the visuals and sound!
Great entry overall!

  • 11 months ago • 

@FlipBit Thanks for the kind words!

RSI: As this started out as a sort of row-boat sim (until I noticed a bug in the drawing that made the lines look 'floppy') -- the originally inteded gameplay was supposed to be more about holding down the keys longer, to be like a stroke from a paddle.

Difficulty: Hm, I was afraid of that … it's a fine balance, I was afraid that increasing the rate faster would make the game too short on the first few playthroughs for most people. It does increase though: Around 150 or so it really becomes hard to swim backwards.

 • 11 months ago • 

(Got a score of 84 after a couple of tries)
Graphic/sounds: the game looks good and I like the '3d' effect of the wireframe fish. The SFX work, but do get a bit repetative over time.
Gameplay wise: Once I got the hang of the controls, controlling the fish feels good. Making 'loopings' in the water is fun. I like to use the currents a bit to tactically slow down the fish when needed.

Question: are the levels procedurally generated? Or are the screens defined in advance? I'm asking because I'd like to know if you can complete every screen without hitting any red spikes.

 • 11 months ago • 

A fellow pico-8 er! Yay :D

I like the stylized look of your game and actually wanted to look into the cart code to see how you created the player character until I realized it is not shown in :D
At first I could not imagine how you guys managed to get to such high screens, but then I got the hang of it and also got a score of 100+.
Your game kept me engaged until that point, but I feel like I've seen everything now.
Which is actually not necessarily bad, because I'd rather have a quick, fun game, than one that drags on for too long during a gamejam.

So all in all, great job!

 • 11 months ago • 

Whoo, a lovable PICO-8 game! I like the controls a lot, while the hit detection feels off from a time to time. I just used it for my advantage :D And I think the difficulty curve is just right. I also wondered if the level was auto-generated (i.e. if the game is actually beatable) but personally I think some repetitiveness is totally fine given the time constraint. Overall, well done!

(@DevBrook) • 11 months ago • 

An interesting game, impressive that it was made in just 9 hours. I love the visual style of your game, it is simple with a nice colour palette and works well. The straightforward yet tricky controls were fun and engaging for me. I found that the sound got a bit repetitive after a while. I also noticed some infrequent errors with the hit detection but it wasn't a big deal.

 • 11 months ago • 

I'm sad this is unranked, I wanted to give it a really high score. The style is cool but what i really love is the movement mechanic, after 30 seconds of swim school i felt like a true fish. Very impressive!

  • 11 months ago • 

Thanks for the reviews all! :-)

@maartene @euske The rooms themselves are a set of about 20+ pre-generated (1-screen each) chunks. Those are then placed in a random order. Each x rooms, it loops, but by then a new room has been chosen for the spot you swim to, and each frame the map is updated in 1 column of sprites somewhere that's still off-screen.

@Cuddl3s I'm always impressed by how fun all of the pico-8 entries are in various jams. I had to try it out for myself. It's true that you can't see the cart on itch, but I also posted it on the pico-8 blog thing, here: You can view the code since I checked the BY-CC checkmark I think. (Hm I should add the link to the links properly as well, I'll do that later.)

@Bklyn Yeah the collission detection such as it is … well I slapped something together quickly, decided that it matched the feel of the game, and didn't really look back after.

@voxel That's exactly what I hoped people would say when I ran out of time (I started very late) and had to put it into unranked!

 • 11 months ago • 

I love the sound design. It sounds just like the DOS games of my childhood. Also the graphics style is really doing it for me, it's like some sort of electronic fish in a computer in an 80s hacker movie style. Gameplay wise I found the game a little too easy. I was able to reach score 64 and then just quit since the game felt very repetitive at that point. My strategy was to slow down by moving vertically. I liked the movement mechanic a lot, you can even swim against the current to collect a shield you missed!

(@ThetacticalBanana) • 11 months ago • 

Cute, simple game
Well executed!

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