Have you ever played a game on an off chance, and it ended up being goofy fun that just put you in a good mood? I did, and I am going to tell you about it! Bossa Studios, the team who showed how not to operate in Surgeon Simulator and brought you the quirky adventures of the magical toast that could in I Am Bread, is back with another crazy adventure… I Am Fish.
Possible Spoiler for the opening parts of the game. Enjoy!
At first look, I didn’t know what to expect except for some Finding Nemo vibes. The game looks very cute and kinda wacky, so I was expecting more of a silly fish game for kids. I was quite wrong; this game is definitely not made for young kids as it does feature some violent imagery towards our fish friends. I Am Fish is a tricky little adventure about four fish trying to make their way back to the sea in the wildest way possible.
The game starts with a cutscene in a small town that looks like San Francisco. We have the hills and the iconic bridge in the distance, but everyone has a British accent and a fondness for weird baked goods. I’m not against it! The story literally starts with a man trying to buy a sausage roll that the baker doesn’t have. There are some Great British Bake-off levels of drama here. The two chat back and forth and, instead of the sausage roll, the clerk offers two whole loaves of bread that are literally alive and wiggling around on the shelf! “Special Bread!” I now know it is a reference to the Bossa Studio game “I Am Bread,” but at the time, I was pretty confused. After some very British deliberation, the man has no choice but to settle for two loaves of possessed bread and is totally fine with it. How bloody civil! Next, a lady comes into the bakery to buy “special bread” but is disappointed when she finds it is sold out! Who wants alive, wiggling bread?? What is up with this town??
Cut to a pet shop where our mysterious live magic bread is being crumbled into a fish tank to feed the fish. The fish are going crazy for the magic bread and eat every last piece! This is where we first meet our fish folk. A goldfish, a pufferfish, a flying fish, and a piranha whose names we are not told. How did these guys get together? Also, freshwater and saltwater fish… living together? Mass hysteria! Somehow, they haven’t eaten each other yet, and this is where we first get our taste of gameplay.
After the small tutorial, we discover that part of our extra goals is finding lost pieces of bread around town…as a fish. Yep! It’s about to get interesting. Are you still with me? The story continues…
After a night of fish partying with freaky bread, the fish folk are presumably adopted to their new homes. We find Mr. Goldfish lonely, downgraded to a smaller, perfectly spherical fishbowl. He dreams of returning to the sea to be with his friends….
If only he could. If only there was a way…
It’s from here that the game fully starts, and little goldfish is on an adventure to see his friends and collect freaky bread, Super Monkey Ball style, in his rolling fishbowl…
The game is heavy physics-based with fun puzzle-solving and some exploration. The path is pretty linear, so it isn’t hard to find where to go. But the challenge is getting there! The game itself wants the player to be a self-starter without much help. From the start, it just lets you try and fail until you learn. The controls themselves for controlling the ball are not too hard; just push where you want to go and roll with it. Literally. As expected, you start on the highest, most precarious ledges in the world with not much room for mistakes. Get used to this as this is an ongoing theme. You must carefully navigate across high beams and thin walkways. One wrong flip of a fishy tail and little goldfish and bowl smash to the ground leaving you to watch a gasping cute little fish slowly die before your eyes. It’s actually quite disturbing! Again, not for kids! To make things worse, you don’t have the best stopping power when your bowl gets rolling; in fact, start rolling too fast, and your ball will begin to bounce almost out of control. You really have to balance your speed and take your corners carefully. Luckily, checkpoints are generous and frequent, so you don’t have to navigate too far after dying on trying parts. I was thankful! I died a lot.
Sometimes the little fish that could, just could not.
Now it wouldn’t be much of an adventure if you were only roaming in the house…oh no! Before you know it, little goldfish and bowl are out on the town. You are up on roofs balancing on phone cables, dodging cars while crossing roads, avoiding hazardous pitfalls and traps. That sounds a little crazy, right?! Imagine that your bowl breaks and you are catapulted into the air and by chance, you land in a mop bucket of fish-friendly water that you then have to drive with your own fish-power across town all while being chased by a man through a park. Yeah, it happens. At one point, you end up in a sewer underground where you are swimming through gross trash like hypodermic needles that actually stab you in the eye if you swim too close.
I Am Fish has been thoroughly entertaining to me. Sure, it’s not perfect as the controls can be a little finicky, causing tasks to be a little more tedious than they should be. But, coming from the creators of I Am Bread, the tricky mechanics are to be expected. The game is a test of patience and persistence. Admittedly, I am not the most patient with games like these, but It really hasn’t been that rage-inducing…yet! I have definitely had my “of for f*ck sake” moments, yet I will continue playing. It is pretty clear when unlocking other levels that we do, in fact, get to play with the other three fish, so I am excited to see what skills they have to help them get back to the sea.
Want to see more? Check out I Am Fish in this 13 minutes of gameplay video!
I Am Fish really has been a pleasant surprise to find, and it kept me laughing with how bonkers it is! I kinda love it!! If you are looking for something a little silly and are up to a bit of a challenge… I Am Fish is available on Xbox Gamepass and PC right now. Go play it even just to say you did!