Summary [4.5 out of 5]
Note: We decided to use a ½ scale for mobile gaming since we they are a bit different in terms of depth than a console or PC title.
Pond Panic is the first entry into the game catalog of Fabling Game Studios. The game hits all the right notes for the mobile platform; simple start, solid mechanics, increasing difficulty and fun in game bonuses. Plus Achievements, seriously who doesn’t like seeing that achievement or trophy notification popup?
What Is It Like?
Pond Panic is similar to titles such as Fruit Ninja in the vein of good hand-eye coordination and tactile tactics to accomplish your goals. The idea is to protect your ladybug who has taken a dive into the pond; you need to keep the bugger safe by flinging piranhas off screen.
This might sound like a bit of a throwback but this kind of reminds me of Bubble Bobble, one of my favorite arcade games of the NES era. This is a reaction game and the difficulty ramps up quite well, you really need to get all the fingers on the screen here to maximize your efforts.
Game Play: The gameplay is simple and straightforward; keep the fish away from your ladybug by using your fingers to fling them off screen. You need to leave the Koi fish alone or face the wrath of the dread SUPER Piranha. Seriously, that thing is like a cheetah on meth. Good time to use your abilities which is an even better segway into the next segment.
Abilities: Once you start to get through a couple of the levels you start to add a few tricks to your repertoire; a bubble shield for your lady bug, radar to help you keep track of incoming enemies and finally the dynamite which stuns all fish on screen. I was REALLY hoping for a ‘boom goes the dynamite’ achievement. Each ability can really save your ladybug in a pinch but you need to be mindful of the recharge time.
No iPad or Android Support: Really, this is a minor thing. You can play this on iPad but is native in resolution to the iPhone. It is difficult to get your first title out and I applaud Fabling for it, but I still feel the need to encourage them for a wider release. It’s a bit selfish as I want to play this on my phone.
The Randomly Awesome
Achievements and Stats: You do not often get to check out your gameplay progress on mobile devices, Fabling really nailed this and it is a great incentive to keep going and nab those achievements and keep track of your process.
The Piranha Prize Wheel: A mini-game in a game, awesome.
Conclusion [4.5 out of 5]
Pond Panic is a solid entry into the mobile gaming market for Fabling Game Studios, this game is fun and simple but it can keep you engaged with the difficulty ramping up over each level. Also, for now it is $0.99 in the Apple Store, and you can play it on your iPad by blowing up the screen.