Racing upstream (of sorts) with the Windows Phone game Goldfish in the Sewer

Goldfish in the Sewer is a relatively new racing game for Windows Phone that approaches things from a different angle.

You are tasked with racing a goldfish through the twists and turns of the local sewer system for time. Make the run fast enough to earn a medal and you get to advance to the next race.

Goldfish in the Sewer has potential with nice graphics and challenging game play. The biggest drawback to the game is the racing controls that may have you swimming upstream with little hope for success.

Game Layout

The main menu for Goldfish in the Sewer holds options to view the online leaderboard, play the game and rate the game in the Windows Phone Store. If you sideswipe at the main menu you will discover additional menus that include the game's settings and access to the developer's social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter).

Settings include turning on/off the following features:

  • High Graphics
  • Sounds
  • Vibrations

As well as setting the countdown (to go) timer, setting your user name and choosing your gaming control style.

Goldfish in the Sewer has five control styles that steers your fish through the sewer. The styles include:

  • Virtual Pad: An on-screen joystick
  • Tilt Controls
  • Touch Controls: Touch the left side of the screen to turn left, right to turn right
  • Touch Invert: The opposite orientation of the Touch Control

Each control style has merit (well almost each) and the key to having a successful race is finding a control that you feel comfortable with.

The virtual pad has more of a positive, responsive feel. The touch controls are not as responsive but matches up nicely with how you would hold your Windows Phone while playing the game. I wasn't a fan of the tilt controls in that they were not very responsive.

Goldfish in the Sewer has 24 races that are spread across two worlds. You can re-play each level against a ghost player that represents your last race at that particular level. To advance through the levels you will have to match a time quick enough to earn a medal (gold, silver or bronze).

Game Play

When you are ready to jump into the game, you will get the obligatory "2, 1, Go!" countdown and your goldfish will begin his swim towards the finish line. Controls steer the fish's direction and you can bounce the fish off the sides of the sewer pipes make the fish swim faster. Red booster areas are present throughout the course to give your fish a little more zip and green ooze will slow your fish down.

Along with the boosts and ooze there is also fruit scattered about the race course that you can collect to reduce the level's time limit.

The racing screen will have your current time and best time displayed in the upper left corner with your race time goals in the upper right corner. Across the bottom of the screen is a reset button, a speedometer and the virtual pad if you've chosen that as your control.

It takes a little time to get the hang of steering your fish and don't be shocked if your first race is more than double the minimum racing time. Even after you settle down with a comfortable set of steering controls, Goldfish in the Sewer can be a challenging racing game.

Overall Impression

The pluses with Goldfish in the Sewer include nice graphics, challenging races and the addition of ghost racers to make replaying the levels more interesting.

The downside to the game is likely the steering controls. Regardless of our personal preference, each control style should be effective. I was rather surprised how bad the tilt controls were and had the tilt steering been more responsive, that might have been the style to choose. As is, the virtual pad might be the only control worth its salt.

The twenty-four racing levels is enough to keep the game from growing stale too quickly. Still, I wouldn't mind seeing a multi-fish racing option or another race mode to give the game a little variety.

The developer has fine-tuned the game a good bit since the early development (as seen in the above demo video) and overall, Goldfish in the Sewer is a fun game for Windows Phone that is a nice change of pace from your traditional racing games.

  • Goldfish in the Sewer - Windows Phone 8.x/7.x - Trial/$.99 - Store Link

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.