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Fish Epic
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Fish Epic

Release Date:  December 30, 2013
Publisher:  6waves
Developer:  6waves
Genre:  puzzle
Sponsor:

Fish Epic is the latest “Epic” puzzle game from 6waves. Like most recent match-three games, it is heavily inspired by King’s highly successful Candy Crush Saga. Levels are spread out on a map and come with a variety of objectives and board shapes. Successful completion of a level will earn you stars while failure will cost you a life. Facebook integration makes it easy to challenge your friends, compare your scores, and beg them to send you extra lives.

Review:

As you might expect, Fish Epic features all kinds of cuddly sea creatures. Surprisingly, your journey through the fish game takes place in the bright blue sky — not that that really has any impact on gameplay. The matchable fish only come in four colors, making Fish Epic a bit simpler than most of its fellow match-three games. Each color of fish has a unique look, but they’re all bug-eyed and pretty dang cute. The fish have cheeky little animations whenever you click on them, too.

Fish Epic is, for the most part, exactly what you’d expect from a Candy Crush clone. Whimsical graphics, charming music, and lots of flashy explosive matches support compulsive just-one-more-level gameplay. Matches of 4-in-a-row, 5-in-a-row, T-shapes, and L-shapes all create powerful special tiles that clear entire rows and columns at a time. In-game currency can be spent to purchase consumable boosters or extra turns to help you finish those really hard levels. Losing causes you to lose one of your five lives, but you get one back every 25 minutes.

There are a couple of gameplay differences that make Fish Epic unique though. First: all power-ups can be triggered whenever you want by clicking on them. You don’t need to match them with anything and it doesn’t take up one of your moves to fire one off. Second: like matching four or five fish at once, making multiple same-colored matches in a row creates a special tile. Specifically, making matches of four or five fish creates rockets that destroy entire rows and/or columns while chaining same-colored matches creates mines that destroy 3×3 or 5×5 blocks of tiles.

These facts combine to create some pretty interesting gameplay strategies. Most levels ask you to collect a certain number of specifically colored fish (for example, 24 yellow fish and 18 red fish). Even if you don’t need purples, a board full of purples may make it worth your while to match them all so you can create a handful of powerful mines. The fish you destroy with rockets and mines count toward your collection total just as much as the ones you actually make matches with, and remember that triggering rockets and mines doesn’t use up any of your precious moves. Once you get a board going, you can create very long patterns of matching same-colored fish to make a bunch of mines, triggering the mines to make room for more fish, then making more matches of that same color to make even more mines.

I am actually a big fan of the changes 6waves has made to the special tiles in match-three. It gives you the option to mitigate bad luck. That is, you can still win when you need greens but your board is full of reds. Can’t get enough greens to make matches? That’s okay, you can blow them up with rockets and mines. Being able to freely choose when you want to trigger the special tiles adds some great strategic decision-making to the core gameplay. Ultimately, I think the gameplay is significantly deeper than Candy Crush and its ilk, but the gameplay is a bit easier too. The rockets and mines give the player significantly more strategic options, but they also give the play significantly more power.

In general, having more power and deeper strategy means more fun, at least in my book. Fish Epic isn’t outrageously easy, but its lower difficulty compared to Candy Crush may actually be welcome in gamers who prefer their match-three games to be strictly casual — Fish Epic is simply less frustrating than some of those other puzzles games that spike up the difficulty by the time you’re tens of levels into the game.

Fish Epic’s monetization scheme is nothing new. Besides loading the ads that appear beside Fish Epic, players can send their money to 6waves to purchase the in-game premium currency: Cash. Cash can be used to purchase extra moves, consumable but powerful booster items, instant life refills, or an extra life slot. That last one is particularly interesting to me: if you spend about $5 worth of Cash, you can permanently increase your maximum number of lives to 6. I imagine you can spend even more to further increase this maximum.

The biggest problem with Fish Epic is that it currently just doesn’t have many levels. The journey through the sky currently lasts only 60 levels. More are promised, but players who start now should be able to hit level 60 before long (compared to Candy Crush’s 300+ levels). Given, the difficulty does ramp up and you can get some extra value by replaying levels to get a score worthy of three stars.

There’s hardly anything else to complain about though. Fish Epic is not amazing by any stretch, but it’s very competent and worthy of your time. It’s not a strict Candy Crush clone, with some new mechanics spicing up the core gameplay and adding some much-appreciated strategic depth. If you’re in the market for a less frustrating match-three game that gives you more control, maintains a cute factor, and doesn’t have annoying circus music, Fish Epic will be a great match for you (terrible pun intended).

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22 Comments on Fish Epic

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  1. janet says:

    How do you defeat the “boss”? If you don’t know how many of a certain color you need, how do you choose the best moves?

  2. Sandy says:

    What can I do with the coins I have collected?

  3. allie says:

    I have 6000 coins and can’t find out how to use them. They must be good for something!

    • Jenny Betts says:

      I have a problem at level 24. I have completed it at least 4 times with moves left then game takes over but before reaching the end it freezes. I therefore can not get to level 25.

  4. Veronica says:

    What can u buy with coins??

  5. bonnie says:

    Do u know how to get fish epic on my Samsung tablet?

  6. bonnie says:

    Where can I download to my tablet?

  7. Mary says:

    I agree with some of the other comments, I don't like the "boss" levels. There is not any instructions for how to play it or what you are trying to actually do.

    • crayfish says:

      The "boss" is destroyed by hitting him with rockets or completing matches by him. It seems that each type of rocket does the same amount of damage.

    • Heather says:

      I need instructions on how to defeat the boss levels. I dont know what I am doinh

    • Linda says:

      I don’t like the boss levels either. I’m stuck on level 70. How I understand the boss levels is there is a box in the upper right of the screen. On level 70 it’s 45/45. That means you have to hit the boss 45 times. Matches next to him are one point; bombs are three points. I don’t know how many points rockets take off. What frustrates me is that I’ll see a match but it seems the screen freezes up right before he throws out cages/coral and I can’t make the move before he does.

  8. Sue says:

    I have a problem with this game. I start to play and the screen goes blank. Does anyone else have this probem? Is there a solution?

  9. domie says:

    j'ai une problème avec le level 40 je ne comprends pas comment tuer le boss merci

  10. heidi osborne says:

    Not enough clams! Game starts out with 5 then 1 disappears by the end making it impossible to win. Frustrating!

  11. barb says:

    please put in a full screen option

  12. Dolores Tupper says:

    It seems one of the most common issues with this otherwise fun little game is " THE BOSS" levels. There is little joy in playing a game that is not explained by some kind of guideline at least.. I enjoy honing my skills, but not if i don't have any idea of what i am trying to improve. HELP!

  13. How in the world do you keep making more of the colored sea weed things… I start out with enough white ones but if I get rid of them all I can always get anymore colored ones and once all the colored ones on the screen are gone there are no more so I cant reach the goal of getting them all

  14. bonnie says:

    Im stuck on level 57.., try getting the rockets in line with the gold fish …only one ..perhaps. ,then i run out of times ..and ca't get the others ! how do i get past this to win ?

  15. Louise says:

    Can't get passed level 60 "Beat the Boss" No clue what to do there. Time to call this game quits.

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