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Casual physics puzzle games with colorful, whimsical aesthetics starring cute creatures may have been done to death, but for the most part they remain fun and engaging by tweaking conventional mechanics ever so slightly. The latest iteration on this popular genre comes in the form of Saving Yello from Dreamfab and Tactile Entertainment. It features pleasant cartoon aesthetics, simple physics gameplay, and one of the most pathetic and pitiable heroes of all time.
Our star this time around is the panicky goldfish Yello. He's panicking because a neglectful seven year old girl has left him out of his fishbowl to dry up and perish. That's kind of disturbing when you think about it, but no worries! The fun gameplay will distract you from such things. Your job is to grab Yello by his tail, pulling him back and flinging him around a level just as you would pull back an Angry Birds slingshot. You only have a limited number of tail flings per level, and must guide Yello through toys and around furniture to the safety of his bowl.
Plenty of power-ups litter the way, making Yello a certifiable weapon, turning him into a ball of flame or block of ice, covering him with sharp needles, or just putting some dynamite in his mouth. You can even swing around on hanging fishhooks. I don't know why they're there, but they sure are useful. Destroying lots of toys in the environment will increase your score, and getting a high enough score will get you three stars on a level. Of course, you've got to collect the minimum number of stars to unlock more levels. There are currently three rooms of levels with more promised in future updates. OpenFeint Leaderboards and Achievements are also supported.
The game looks great, it's simple to play, and is quite inexpensive. It's billed as free, but you only get the first ten levels for free, with the rest costing one dollar through an in-app purchase. This transaction seems to be buggy, and many people are reporting problems, but hopefully that's fixed for whatever device you're using. This is a solid and enjoyable new physics puzzler. It may not do enough differently to bring in physics puzzler enthusiasts, but anyone can try it out for free, so go ahead and do that.