Admittedly, Fish Tales from Everywhere Inc. is essentially another tap and wait Farmville-esque game for the iPhone and iPad, but to give credit where credit is due, this is definitely one of the prettier freemium social games out there.
Like Tap Zoo, the Smurfs, or any of the other dozens of social games out there, Fish Tales isn’t the most intellectually taxing activity around. You start off with a handful of change and an empty aquarium. By buying, raising, and then selling fish, you can slowly transform your empty tank into a rich, undersea world filled with decorations and finned friends of all shapes and sizes.
There are daily rewards and special achievements to unlock, in addition to the normal fish care. Just like with real fish, you have to feed them and make sure their tank is clean, but these glorious cartoon fish come in much more animated and whimsical designs than you’ll ever find in nature.
The fish designs are actually very impressive with a huge amount of variety. Purchased fish take a range of times to mature, but you can also evolve fish. Each purchasable variety of fish can be evolved into two different forms not available in the store, which means you can have a very wide variety of sea life available to you. As you level, new fish become available to you, and you gain experience through the caring for and selling of fish.
This universal app is free to download and play, and while you don’t need a Facebook or Twitter account, you must create a log-in account to play. You can also make in-game purchases of special time-saving gems for real money. Because of this, parents should be cautious before handing this off to kids. Like every other game of this type out there, it’s mostly a waiting game, which is what makes those sparkly gems so attractive.
There is also a fairly robust social component that lets you invite friends and strangers to be a part of your underwater neighborhood. You can visit neighbors and help them with tasks, leave messages on their walls, and you can also trade gifts back and forth. Nothing too exciting, but slightly more interactive than just admiring their fish.
Overall, there’s nothing particularly interesting or innovative about Fish Tales that we haven’t seen a hundred times over in other games, but the visual appeal very strong, and the lively, fully animated aquarium setting is what gives it a slight edge over other games of its type.
Here is a video demo of the Fish Tales app on the iPhone
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