Go Fish! - Atari 2600
Go Fish! is an original game loosely based on the Intellivision game Shark! Shark! - you are a wee fish and, to survive, you must eat other, smaller fish to grow. But watch out for the shark, as he's also on the hunt for food and you could be his next meal! Go Fish! features extensive, continuously-playing music (with an option to turn it off for those who'd rather do their fishing in quiet), as well as a two-player battle mode.
Programmer Bob Montgomery teamed up with AtariAge to sponsor a contest to create original artwork for Go Fish! The winning label from Renato Brito will grace all copies of Go Fish!, as well as the full-color manual. You can download the latest version of Go Fish! and follow its development in our Homebrew Discussion Forum.
Includes cartridge with Renato Brito's label and a full-color manual designed by Tony Morse. Available in NTSC and PAL formats (please specify above when ordering).
Go Fish! was one of the first homebrew games to support Richard Hutchinson's AtariVox. Go Fish! takes advantage of the AtariVox to save your high score, which is retained when you turn your Atari 2600 off. When you come back later to play Go Fish! and power on your 2600, your previous high score will be restored!
|Number of Players||1|
|Label Design||Renato Brito|
|Manual Design||Tony Morse|
This is a great little game, begins slow paced and is pleasantly relaxing to just float around in the ocean, eating other fish. There is so much animation going on, on screen... the waves move, the fish swim fluttering their tails and the seaweed flows with a rhythem to the ocean.
There isn't a pause, but you can take a break or refuge on the sea floor behind the seaweed only sticking your head out for food while keeping an eye out for danger.
I personally love this little game and it's a real gem to add to your collection. The manual couldn't have been any better. Not only does it have a great layout, but it explains the game very well with beautiful illustrations and color.
The dark blue label sticking out of my Atari game port looks very pleasing.
Go Fish! is an unusual game for the 2600. It's a game of patience rather than aggression. Being aggressive will usually just put you in harm's way. And while there are times when you have to respond quickly to get to safety, your fish isn't exactly fast, and the bigger it gets, the harder it is to maneuver. Go Fish! nicely mimics the sensation of being underwater, although sometimes this makes the controls seem a bit sluggish. Also, there are times when it seems to take forever for edible fish to appear, and for your fish to grow up. Fortunately, there is no penalty for not eating other fish, so you can often just lie in wait until dinner shows up. The downside of this, is that the game doesn't give you much incentive to chase down other fish. The pacing of the game picks up when starting on the harder difficulty setting, since your fish doesn't spend so much time being small.
The graphics are well done, although some of the fish are hard to tell apart. There are a lot of nice little touches though, like the smaller fish swimming away from you in fear, or electric eels lighting up as they swim by, or the seaweed gently swaying in the current. The sound and music are very good (and you can shut off the music, if you don't care for it), and there is high-score support for the AtariVox, too. Go Fish! is a well-done game, and an enjoyable one. It's just a different pace from a lot of 2600 games, and takes some getting used to. I recommend picking it up, especially if you're looking for a game without a frenetic pace, but one that can still challenge you in its higher levels.
In this game, you start out as a small fish, and to survive and get bigger, you must eat, but only other fish the same size or smaller than you. You start as the smallest of fish, and find yourself growing as you reach certain point intervals.
You'll bump up a size or two fairly quickly, but you'll get to a stage early where there doesn't seem to be much to eat, and many larger fish out to get you. But not to worry, you'll get bigger soon enough, and when you do, that's when the points really start to rack up!
As you get bigger, you'll notice that your former "chums" are avoiding you, because they're afraid of you turning them into chum! Once you reach a certain size, certain smaller fish will flee upon seeing you. If you really want their points, sneak up from behind, above or below.
Besides needing to watch out for bigger fish, you also need to avoid deadly predators such as jellyfish and electric eels. The eels are particularly sneaky - if you cross their path behind them, they'll turn around, so it's best not to cross their path too closely or when they're about to go off screen, for it will keep them around longer.
It's also best not to linger around the sides of the screen, so be careful in pursuing prey to the edge - you never know what may emerge!
Some of the fish designs look better than others, with some of the very large fish honestly looking a little silly. Also, some fish can be hard to see at times, which can be a problem if you're avoiding them or hunting them, but your console and TV settings could come into play.
The game has good control, with a bit of realistic underwater buoyancy built in. Seems your fish move fastest in a diagonal direction. Good music, too, from the beautiful opening screen to into the game itself that really fits. Also a very well done label and manual.
This game comes well recommended. Definitely something different for the 2600.
The game starts with you as a very small fish (your starting size depends on which difficulty you play. Throughout the levels, while dodging squid, sharks, and dangerous and direction changing electric eels, you must eat fish of smaller or same size. every once and a while, your fish increases size making the game more intense by the level.
I'd really like to make mention of the music in this game, three distinct in-game tracks that are amazing, perhaps the best I've heard on a 2600.
Gameplay is unmatched, the game mimics the sensation of floating, which weighs more and more on you as your fish grows. There's three bushes you can "hide" in at the bottom of the screen to avoid getting eaten, or if you need to just get up and make a sandwich.
If I had to find a fault in this game (which was really difficult) it's the replay value. Now stick with me on this one, I'm not saying you'll play it once and put it away forever, what I'm saying is that when you get a game over in some titles, you want to hit reset and take another shot at it, like a personal challenge almost. With Go Fish, you only have one life, so if you so much as brush against a larger fish or predator, you're dead, muerte, finis. At this point you'll storm away from your Atari and slam the door behind you, only because it has taken you so long to get to this point. In order to curb this minor problem, I suggest playing the game on difficulty B, you start out a little larger and in the second level. This will get you past the "tedious" initial game play and into some real excitement.
This game is also compatible with the AtariVox, so you can save your high score for next time. My best score in this game was 3950.
Games don't get much better than this, I highly suggest this title for anyone. In fact, as soon as I'm done this review, I think I'll fire up a game.
Graphics are pretty good, but some of the bigger fish look kind of weird... I am not a programer, so perhaps the limits of the 2600 show themselves more on this game than others... It still does not take away from the fun factor... IMO the most important trait well developed 2600 games like Go-Fish continue to show off...
This is where the game really thrives. At the upper levels, the game is pure twitch. You'll have to be fast and cunning to survive long as a big fish in a little pond.
The graphics are solid and for the most part the sea life is well represented. On my television, some of the colors are hard to distinguish, but this is not a major drawback. The sounds are minimal, but this isn't the kind of game that calls for a lot of SFX. Mercifully, there is an option to turn the game's music off. What may start as a quaint little jaunty tune will quickly become an annoying bee in your ear and you will be reaching for the COLOR/BW switch.
Overall, this game is very, very good and most classic gamers will find it a welcome addition to their collection. There is also a two-player simultaneous mode for head-to-head action!
In short, I rather like it!