About The Game
Guppy is a 2D watercolour fish simulation.
Swim like a fish! Move your tail left and right to propel yourself through the water, hide in the shade of lilies and venture carefully into the open in search of food. Try not to get eaten.
The first time I saw a trailer for guppy I quite liked it.
The water colour art style and the music seemed relaxing and peaceful.
And that’s exactly how it was when I started it for the first time and every subsequent time thereafter.
I understand some will find it too minimalistic and empty at times but I find a lot of charm in this little title.
The game looked to follow a similar idea to others I’d played in the past such as evofish and feeding frenzy.
In those games the aim is to eat smaller fish while doing your best not to be eaten yourself by the bigger fish.
While in guppy you’ll still get game over if your eaten by a bigger fish you won’t be taking on the role of fish cannibal yourself and eating fish yourself.
Flies appear randomly in the pond and it these that will be your target as each one you eat will add another point to your score.
And the basic aim of Guppy is the simple old score as many points as you can approach.
I spy with my little guppy eye a fly that will add to my score.
The more flies you eat in the game the more big black fish predators start appearing and what at first appears to be a relatively simple rather relaxing experience quickly becomes genuinely challenging and a true battle for both points and survival.
The black fish are fast and very efficient at taking you out given just a smallest of opportunities to do so.
Of course you have to factor in some player skills when determining how difficult a game actually is.
I’d consider myself a well above average gamer who could given enough time and practice to do so (something I sadly have little of) beat most games put in front of me.
There are natural exceptions of course we all have our bad games and I wouldn’t consider or place myself in the very top class of video game players.
So on that basis I’d say this game offers a harder than average yet fair challenge.
The more I played the more at ease I got with the controls and my strategy and the more my scores generally improved.
The Big Black Fish is ruthlessly efficient.
One of the main difficulties / challenges in the game is the control system.
You move your little guppy by alternating the right and left arrow buttons which at least for me in the first few attempts at least really did prove most troublesome trying to get any kind of general direction or flow going seemed like a whole other pond away.
But I as I always do for review copies I persevered and as more often than not the controls quickly became second nature while playing the game.
I don’t doubt some will bemoan the lack of any form of controller support especially in 2016 where just about every controller released is compatible with Pc’s in some form or another but looking at it after getting a better grip on the controls I think had I had the option of any form of Controller support the game would have proved far too easy and taken a lot away from the scores I had to work harder to earn with the current set up.
To help your little guppy avoid the big bad black fish the pond is covered with a number of randomly placed Lilly pads swimming under one of these will give you complete protection although if a black fish is chasing you when your near one it will more often than not stay close by so you’ll want to try make your escape via the opposite end of the pad and try find another safe pad quickly in case it decides to continue the chase.
Sometimes you’ll start a level and find a big group of Lilly pads either right by one another or at the very least in a very small cluster and this for me is a perfect level for aiming for a high score as long as you play smart and don’t put your little fish in too much open water.
You’ll also need to pay attention to the random rock formations in the game as well.
While I found they were occasionally helpful in getting away from the black fish on occasions more often than not I’d accidently swim into one and lose the flow of the controls giving my poor little guppy no chance of survival and the black fish a nice quick little meal.
The game also features a 2 player option that perhaps deserves far more review attention than I’ll be giving it here.
But none of our 2 player attempts went all that well during the tests.
I will say that probably has far more to do with the people I was sharing a keyboard with than the game itself.
Flies near the Lilly pad are always most welcome.
Nice water colour artwork.
Well suited Music.
High score chasing challenge for quick game play bursts.
Random level generation keep the game more interesting.
16 seems to be my current limit though I've reached it a few times number 17 is currently beyond me.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Controls take some getting used to.
Play area isn’t that big.
The black fish feel a little too brutal at times from the very start.
The Black Fish strikes again but this time the little white guppy has avoided the attack.
I personally see Guppy as a relaxing little score chaser to start up every now and then in between other games or just mini breaks from staring at the vast amount of text that often spreads out in front of me across the screen.
It doesn’t quite have the same one more go one more go pull of some rather famous score chasers where most people will lose hours and hours at a time but by the nature of the game and the odds of quick failures (most of which are of your own doing) even in a short spell of time you might get in more games than you expect.
There are more in depth and detailed fish eat fish or fish survival games out there in the world.
But Guppy is worth some genuine consideration among it’s more expensive counter parts.
We'll try to keep as many spoilers as possible out of sight.
But obviously your watching a video of a game you probably don't own and there might be things here you don't want to see viewing is always your own choice.
A review copy of the game was provided by ninjadodo games and reviewed in accordance with the review policy.