Developer: Bossa Studios
Release Date: September 16, 2021
I’ve played quite a few project games since the last time I threw the towel in before hitting the end or an hour of play, but I found I Am Fish to be precisely the kind of frustrating which meant that the longer I played, the harder it would be to find anything positive to say. Now, I don’t believe it’s a bad game, but it’s a very very bad fit for me personally.
I’m not a huge fan of platformers to begin with, and the types of levels in 3D platformers I find the most intolerable are the ones where your character is on or in some sort of ball. Other than the initial bit where you’re supposed to learn the controls, I was a fish. In a ball. Throwing my house off of things and dying among shards of broken glass.
I was averaging a death every two minutes, and that’s not taking into account the tutorial section and the intro cutscenes. Or the fact that the game seems to linger eternally on your little fishy soon-to-be-corpse struggling for air after you manage to roll off of something. In fact, I only stuck it out as long as I did because the first mission has you rolling towards the ocean. I thought that maybe I was going to be able to swim if I could just get through that tiny little portion of the game.
Then my fishbowl washed up on shore, and I was fish-napped by two kids. I knew then there was more rolling in my future and I was unwilling to keep on rolling.
On the upsides, checkpoints are fairly frequent – at least in the first level they were. The graphics are bright and colorful, and the controls felt responsive at least to my unpracticed hands. While I’m not sure what possessed someone to make a game focused on some of the most universally disliked 3D platforming mechanics – balls, and I’m guessing eventually, underwater levels – it seemed to me like the game was structurally sound. It just wasn’t the right game for me.
SteamDB estimates that I Am Fish has sold between 23,400 and 63,500 copies on Steam. It was also included in the June 2022 Humble Choice bundle. Reviews are mostly positive, although a few people pointed to repetitive gameplay and frustrating mechanics as reasons against recommending it. It is ranked 384 out of 10,967 games released in 2021.