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Recommendation: Anyone looking for a fun and very child-friendly casual game.

Endless cave flyers/runners seem to be making a comeback with titles such as JetPack Joyride and Whale Trail. Now CoopToons (a small developer made up of a dad and his children) recently released  Lil Fish, a cute endless swimmer that has me imagining what Pixar’s Finding Nemo would be like if it was turned into an iOS game.

Lil Fish is cute all the way around from the charming visuals and soundtrack (the first soundtrack I’ve come across featuring the vibes), all the way to the fishy premises. You–Lil Fish, disturbed Francis the shark and now must swim for your life, but no matter how far you swim, you can’t change the fact that you will be eaten by a shark…without tartar sauce (Francis is watching his fat intake).

One of the addictive qualities generally found in this genre is the ease of controls, part of the allure being a single button press that tests you solely on your reflexes. Controlling Lil Fish is no different, pressing on the screen makes Lil Fish swim up and releasing has him swim down. Of course this wouldn’t be fun if there were bad physics would it? So…saying that I was surprised by Lil Fish’s physics would be an understatement.  Adjusting the up/down movements alters Lil Fish’s speed. If you drag on the ocean floor or fly too near the top of the ocean the speed will be drastically reduced. This more thought out physics is a rather welcome experience.

Of course obstacles need to be avoided in an endless runner (endless swimmer in this case) and Lil Fish is no different. There’s no lasers, missiles or anything of that nature, instead Lil Fish takes what you would find in the ocean…fish. Oodles of fish. These fish make up patterns that must be either dodged or swam through and if contact is made, game over for Lil Fish…or is it? This all depends on what mode you’re playing, in survival mode, yes Lil Fish is more delicate than my self-esteem was going through Junior High, and one small mistake will end his getaway. More fun–there’s a Chase Mode! This is where Francis the Shark makes an appearance. Much more fun–if Lil Fish makes contact with a fish, it’ll slow it down, if it gets too slow..gobble gobble–err…chomp chomp. Fish-sticks anyone?

The Bottom Line:

Lil Fish is a very cute casual game to play with your kids (and by yourself when they’re not around–if you even have any).