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Fishdom: Harvest Splash

Score: 79%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Playrix Entertainment
Developer: Playrix Entertainment
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ Arcade/ Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in Fishdom: Harvest Splash are bright and cheery and contain all sorts of nice details that give a pleasant nod to the holiday of Thanksgiving and the Native Americans and Pilgrims that started it all. Whether it be the cornucopia or the pilgrim hat icons on the tiles you'll be matching (in addition to the ocean-related ones like seashells and anchors), or the many different decorative items you can use to complete your tank, there's plenty here to see. There's even a Thanksgiving Turkey fish for you to add to your tank and boy is he an odd one! The most lush items can be found in the pre-decorated tanks that will serve as your background as you progress through the different boards, and while you can "purchase" many of the set pieces found here for your own tank that you are building, these start off pretty lavishly to give you a good idea of what you can do and contain large pieces like houses and things that aren't available for you to buy.

The sound effects are pretty much the same as are found in the other Fishdom titles like Fishdom: Frosty Splash or Fishdom: Spooky Splash and consist of nice clunks when tiles fall into place, pleasant clinking sounds when you break chains that bind tiles in place, and an appropriate swoosh when tiles are swapped. The music in each Fishdom title that I have seen has always been varied and always sounds appropriate for the specific holiday it is geared towards. Thanksgiving is a bit tougher since there really aren't that many Thanksgiving songs. As such, the music was pleasant and well done, but generic.


Fishdom: Harvest Splash is a match-3/tile-swapping game the likes of Jewel Quest, but with a fish-centric theme. Your goal is to clear the silver and gold tiles from each board within the allotted amount of time (if you are playing in the Against the Clock Mode), which earns you money so that you can fill your own personal tank with various fish, decorative items and comfort items so your fish enjoy their stay. The quicker you clear the tiles, the more bonus money you earn from the time left on your timer. However, you also earn money from swapping tiles and clearing them off, regardless of whether they are gold or silver (the required tiles to clear), so money can definitely be earned that way also.

There are dozens and dozens of boards to clear and as you progress and earn money, you will begin filling your tank. Each type of item you can purchase (Fish, Decor and Comfort Items) has a progress bar and the more you buy, the more it fills. When it is full to 100%, you will earn a trophy, first Bronze, then Silver and finally Gold. Having a trophy under your belt gives you an additional money bonus, so your bonuses compound onto each other.

You can opt to play in Against the Clock Mode or Relaxed Mode without any timer. There's also a Screen Saver mode if you just want to watch your fish frolic in their environment.


I found that the boards in Fishdom: Harvest Splash did ramp up the further you go along, but they never got too frustrating. Sure, they'd take longer to complete and there were a couple I needed to redo, but the timer affords you ample time to complete a board. Plus, you can save anywhere and at any time, so you can always come back to it with fresh eyes if you are stuck. Further, if you find yourself stumped, after a while, the game will offer a suggestion for a move, although I often found more optimal moves than the ones they suggested.

They do get trickier as you go, though so be prepared for boards that you'll have to think and strategize to get through. At some points, areas of the board will be blocked off by tiles with golden chains wrapped across them, keeping those areas off limits. You'll have to match the specific tile icon without the ability to move that tile around, since it's locked down and this can get dicey. Once you release the tile, more tiles will flow in and fill the once empty area, allowing you to clear the tiles down there (since you can't clear a blank tile, even if it is silver or gold).

Game Mechanics:

Fishdom: Harvest Splash uses the mouse for everything, just as the other Fishdom games do. You'll be left clicking on tiles to swap them, clicking to purchase fish, decor and comfort items and dragging them to arrange them in your tank. That's about it! Once you have earned a Gold trophy for each type of item you can purchase, you'll be ready to start a new tank.

One of the neat aspects is seeing the fish you have purchased swimming around the pre-rendered background tanks behind the boards you are working on. Then, in between boards when you go back to your tank to make purchases, if you pay attention, your fish may try to communicate suggestions for what to buy next. Maybe they want a specific fish as a tankmate. Maybe they are craving a specific new plant, or maybe even a gadget like an auto-feeder. If you watch carefully once you purchase something your fish has suggested to you, he may show his appreciation by swimming all around it and playing with it. It's a cute little aspect that gives the game more appeal.

All of that being said, if you already own one of the Fishdom games, there's not a huge reason to keep purchasing them unless you are craving new boards. Fishdom: Harvest Splash had the least inspired music of the three Fishdom games I have played and I found the set pieces the least engaging. That's not to say that they are bad by any means, I just liked the others better. Try a demo of the game and if it's for you, then go for it.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows NT, 2000, XP or Vista; CPU: 1 GHz; RAM: 512MB; DirectX: 8.0 or higher; Video: 128MB

Test System:

Windows Vista, 2 GHz AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core Processor, 8GB RAM, Realtek High Definition Audio On-Board Sound, NVIDIA GeForce 8300

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Guitar Hero: Van Halen Sony PlayStation 3 Guitar Hero: Van Halen

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