Seeing as the “underwater side-scrolling eat ‘em up” genre, as Dingo Games classify Tasty Blue, is rather underrepresented on this site we had no choice but to take a look. The game opens with a pet shop owner warning a customer not to overfeed their goldfish, but alas they disregard his advice. After gobbling up all the food, the tiny goldfish escapes to the ocean where it continues its feeding frenzy. The more it eats the larger it grows until nothing is safe from its slavering jaws.
After playing Tasty Blue for a while the game really reminded me of the old arcade classic, Rampage. Swimming around the ocean gorging on everything in sight has that same feeling of mindless mayhem that Rampage had. You can simply switch off your brain, sit back and cause some carnage. In addition to the goldfish, the game also stars a Dolphin that is tired of jumping through flaming hoops at the aquarium, and a nano-shark, designed to track down and eliminate the other two aquatic menaces.
Tasty Blue provides players with 50 story mode missions, which can be tackled alone or with a friend, where the goal is simply to eat everything smaller than yourself. As your fish feeds it grows bigger and is able to devour larger things. Depending on the difficulty level you select, the bigger creatures range from barely being able to touch you, to swimming deathtraps that can turn the tables on your fish and eat it. Each level is timed and you earn a star rating depending on how quickly you were able to consume everything.
The premise of the game is hardly rocket science, so it is no surprise that the developers have opted for a rather humorous approach. You might start off eating small fish, but soon you’ll be able to leap out of the ocean to snatch birds out of the air and even grow large enough to eat boats, helicopters or planes! Watching a giant gold fish munching sperm whales, giant sea squids and nuclear submarines is a surreal sight to say the least. Although very entertaining you are pretty much doing the same thing on each level and it is simply the scale that differs. This means that the game can get rather repetitive, especially if you play for long sessions. The multi-player mode helps to keep things interesting as you can team up with a friend for some local co-op in horizontal or vertical split screen mode or using a shared screen. After completing the story missions you also gain access to 15 bonus missions. These provide a little more variety than the story missions as you might be required to swim through a Pac-man style maze eating mines while getting chased by sharks or even chase down and eat a super-fast Loch Ness monster.
Although the simple 2D visuals of Tasty Blue are not going to win any awards, they are quite charming in their own way. The animations are a little stiff, but everything is bright and colorful. The game only has three different environments, which is temperate, arctic and tropical, but the amount of things that you can eat is quite impressive. For added comical value you can also toggle the amount of blood via a “carnage” slider. The blood is off by default though and without it the game is quite suitable for players of all ages as the violence is comical and not realistic.
The tunes in the game are quite catchy, but very limited, so if you play for a while you are going to hear the same songs over and over again. The first couple of times you hear the music it will put a smile on your face, but the songs start to grate after a while. The sound effects consist mostly of munching and whatever sound effect the creatures you are eating make. The game can be controlled with a keyboard, mouse or controller and maneuvering your character around is easy enough with any of these. Things are eaten automatically if your character is big enough by simply moving close to them, so the only button you have to worry about is the one you hold down to gain a speed boost. This is handy for evading the bigger predators or for building up the speed to leap out of the water and bite something mid-air.
Tasty Blue might not be much more than mindless entertainment, but thanks to its wallet friendly price and low system requirements it definitely offers value for money. It might not keep you busy for more than a couple of hours, but how many other games allow you to eat aircraft carriers with a goldfish?