It’s not easy being a small fry, especially when you’re a tasty morsel living under the sea. Small Fry is a new iOS endless swimmer that pits you as a little fish trying to stay ahead of a hungry shark for as long as you can. The game is controlled by a familiar one touch control scheme where you tap to dive, and release to swim upwards, which is very similar to Mighty Fin. At first glance, it’s a very generic entry into the endless category, and it’s questionable if Small Fry can stay afloat among the shark infested waters of the App Store. The key to Small Fry’s survival in the game, and in the App Store is to rise above the water.
Small Fry essentially has three distinct ways to play built into one game as you can swim in the water, bounce on bubbles in the air, or fly all the way into space. Staying in the water is dangerous for Small Fry, so you will want to leap out of the water as often as possible to then bounce on bubbles. You can tap the screen to dive down into bubbles at a faster speed, a bit like Tiny Wings, and if you string together three bubbles, you then have a turbo boost to stay ahead of the shark. If you bounce on bubbles high enough to reach into space, you then tap repeatedly to stay afloat, and dodge asteroids. Any mistake, and it’s back into the water trying to dodge other sea creatures, by swerving up and down.
There’s a surprising amount of action in Small Fry, and it does a good job of keeping you coming back as soon as you lose. There’s an intrinsic replay factor to experiment in the different tiers within the game, and then there’s a quality objective system with live leaderboards as you swim. Even with the nuances, you’re still left with the same game every time, just like every other endless game, but the fact is more apparent these days with so many endless games already out there. Small Fry keeps you entertained, and engaged while in the app, but it doesn’t offer that memorable of an experience to go to the game later on. It’s a well crafted experience with the subtly changing environments, smooth touch controls, and quality art design, but that seems par for the course these days. In the end, Small Fry can’t out swim its endless cousins, so it’s another in a long line, that is still entertaining, and completely free to enjoy.
Small Fry (Free, Universal) does just enough to offer plenty of enjoyment during the time you spend with it making it a worthwhile swim that flies a bit.