Carps & Dragons (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Brian Short 05.09.2014

Review for Carps & Dragons on Nintendo 3DS

Based on the 2009 WiiWare title Fish'em All, Carps & Dragons finds new life on the 3DS eShop. While the original on Wii was criticised for its poor implementation of motion controls, developer Abylight hopes this 3DS port will rectify its earlier misstep. Read on to find out if this update was worth the effort.

The two main characters, Walter and Jack, take residence on the game's title screen, playing some lovely bluegrass music while fish frolic in the background. From this it is already apparent that this won't be a typical fishing game. Carps & Dragons definitely goes for a more arcade-like, upbeat experience. The game can be played as either character: Walter and Jack, both of whom seem equally adept at catching fish in nets and neither seemingly holding any type of statistical advantage over the other.

Three different game modes are available, along with the option for multiplayer. The first game mode, Arcade, contains nine levels to play that can be beaten by catching fish and attaining a high enough score on each level. Challenge contains 32 levels of varying difficulty, with some objectives only requiring catching a certain amount of fish, while others demand catching an exact colour, avoiding others at the same time. The final mode, Fishtris, involves catching three or more fish of the same hue in order to keep the game going. Catching different coloured fish will cause the meter on the side of the screen to fill up and, ultimately, end the game.

Screenshot for Carps & Dragons on Nintendo 3DS

Not all aquatic creatures in Carps & Dragons are created equal, however. There are five different shades of fish with the reds being worth a whopping 250 points and the lowly greens rounding out the bottom at only 50 points. Interestingly enough, the tone actually doesn't affect how difficult it is to nab them. They all seem to jump around sporadically, although on some challenge levels there is a definite pattern. Most levels feature a fairly even distribution of all fish colours, but as the difficulty ramps up the higher point ones become rarer.

What makes each challenge and level different from the last is the change of scenery. There are three distinct locations: a typical fishing lake, a Japanese-inspired one, and another that appears to be a haunted moat. The fishing lake contains a shark that will appear from time to time, trying to grab the player and chew up precious seconds from the clock. The Japanese water expanse contains a dragon that spits fire, and the haunted moat contains two hazards: a ghost that swoops toward the player (making a good use of the handheld's 3D capabilities), and a hand that reaches up from under the dock to grab. Along with these unique hazards, each level will have an animal or two that enters from the side and grab hold of the player if possible. These threats can be dealt with by simply jumping on the animal, which also nets the player some extra points in the process.

Screenshot for Carps & Dragons on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Enjoyable mechanics hold the game up but not for long. While completing the challenges can give a great sense of accomplishment, there's not much left over once they are done. Arcade mode offers replay value but at the expense of doing the same thing over and over again. Fishtris is an interesting twist on the regular gameplay but it too lacks that attention grabbing ability older games such as Tetris or Dr. Mario had. The game might be better off as a free-to-play title with additional challenge packs costing money since that's where the real value is in this game. At the end of the day, there is fun to be had with Carps & Dragons, but at the current price, it doesn't offer enough, especially because it's only a slightly touched up port of an old WiiWare game.

Developer

Abylight

Publisher

Abylight

Genre

Action

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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