Fit for lunchbreaks
I'm usually not that into puzzle games, but this one is a real gem. "Fish Fillets - The next generation", which was released in 2004, is a freeware port of Altar Interactive's game from 1998. The main difference in FFNG is that the game is now available to Linux, BSD, OS X and Windows. The original game was only available on the Windows platform.
You control two underwater agents working for FDTO (Fish Detective Training Organization) whom, in the true spirit of Mission Impossible, get sent on a mission to investigate the recent sightings of a crashed UFO (Unidentified Floating Object). While you're at it, you're asked to look into some other unsolved cases (which will become available when you solve certain levels) as well, they are
If it isn't clear by now, your two agents are in reality fish. You advance through the game pushing objects and clearing the way for the two heroes. The pushing part's what becomes the problem. The two fish have different abilities. The smaller of the two is... well he's small and can fit through certain places that the other can't. The bigger one, on the other hand, can push (heavy) metal objects. The key to successfully completing each level is to make the two agents cooperate. Moreover there are rules to how an object can be (safely) interacted with. An object that falls onto either one of the agents will kill that agent. An object moved onto an agent will kill the agent (unless the object is supported by some other object). An object moved by an agent must be supported by some other object after it's been moved or the agent moving the object will die. I know some of these rules might seem strange (and there are more of them), but one soon gets used to them. For more details concerning controls, go here.
The sound and graphics of the game don't leave me asking for anything. They're nice and simple (in a good way). The colorful environments do a great job of giving the underwater environment life. The music accompanies the graphics superbly and I was overjoyed to realize that the soundtrack is available as ogg-files in the download. Another nice touch with this game is that the two agents keep chatting with each other during the levels, uttering remarks which has made me smile on more than one occasion. During one level, the music just stopped for no apparent reason and to keep the player happy, some skeletons started to whistle the tunes instead. These are touches that can make a game stand out in a crowd.
The game gets difficult pretty fast and it won't be long before you have to study the screen carefully to find a solution to the situation. There's an in-game saving feature which allows the player to save a state within a level. That way, if one of the agents dies, you won't have to redo all the steps up to that certain point. It's a good thing that most of the time, if you get stuck, you can always try another level and continue with the old one later due to the open endedness. Also, when you complete a level, you can replay it and try to solve it in a more optimal way. The author keeps a "Hall of Fame" on the website, so you can check how you're doing. The most recent update to that "Hall of Fame" is also included with your download. At best, I've solved them in the same number of moves.
The intro sequence has to be downloaded separately and is available here. If you like puzzles, give this one a try. I've found it really addictive and you can play it during a lunchbreak thanks to the in-game save feature.
The solution is out there!
Review by: Mdag
Safe for all ages