Author Archives: melissa dingmon

About melissa dingmon

Melissa is the Social Media Manager for Big Fish Studios in Seattle, WA. She loves connecting with people who have a share her passion for LEGOs, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and, most importantly, games! Follow her on Twitter as @SustainableMBA and @melissadingmon!

AppSpy gives FETCH 5 out of 5 stars!

AppSpy Review

Let me start this review by removing those of you who can’t get past a game having a low level of challenge – Fetch is aimed at younger audiences, and as such you’re not going to find the ‘hardcore’ experience you may expect of all games. With that said, Fetch by Big Fish Games is the gaming equivalent of a Dreamworks or Pixar movie: despite being designed for younger audiences, adults aren’t left out of the equation either thanks to the wonderful story that pulls on your heart strings.

The game ostensibly feels and plays out like an Adventure title, providing a series of point-and-tap interactive screens where light puzzle solving will help you to proceed. However the game quickly offers up an entirely alternative means for progression through the inclusion of brief, but fun ‘Flash’-like arcade games that reward the player with items needed to move along the storyline. Once completed the games can be played at any time for the sake of it, though every now and then the game also throws in a mini-game with more of a puzzle edge to it to keep your brain from switching off entirely.

Not that this is a problem thanks to the insane level of detail that has gone in to the presentation of every single screen you encounter. Tap a sign in the background and it may light up, buzz a bit, and return to its neutral state; bubbles will pop under your finger; and trees and bushes will sway. It doesn’t add to the game in a meaningful way other than by providing a novel distraction, but it does give the game a richness that pairs well with the game’s delightful cartoon visuals.

For those worried that the game is ‘too easy’, ‘hard’ modes are available in some of the arcade games, giving you at least a little bit of a run for your money.

Still, you’ll marvel as each new area provides you with a wealth of distractions, giving you all the motivation you need to plow your way through to the end of the game’s all-too-brief storyline. And it’s a beautiful tale too (also one worth sharing with your children if they’re age appropriate), making it an easy title to recommend.

Read about it: http://www.appspy.com/review/6844/fetch

Gamezebo Review of FETCH

The official game of dog lovers everywhere.

Are games art? Am I pretentious for asking that question? The answer, on both accounts, is yes. And while I’d much rather avoid the topic altogether, it can’t really be helped with Fetch, a point-and-click adventure from Big Fish Games. It’s currently part of a featured exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), where people can get a glimpse into its development cycle and other behind-the-scenes goodness. Take that, Roger Ebert!

A spot in a museum isn’t a one-way ticket to Good Gameville, however. That also requires solid gameplay and, in some cases, a captivating story. Fetch just so happens to have both of these things in spades. It also features a lot of dogs, which means it’s probably the best game ever.

Embark is Evil

But don’t start “aww”-ing just yet, dog lovers. Fetch tells the sad story of a young boy who loses his dog, Bear, to an evil company known as Embark Industries (I’m assuming that pun is intended).  Embark markets itself as a pro-dog institution, but only to cloak its true intentions: stealing dogs left and right. There’s a reason behind the company’s actions – and it’s actually pretty cute – but I’d rather not spoil it for you. Suffice to say, your dog has been kidnapped and you want it back.

In typical point-and-click fashion, you’ll be tasked with solving a variety of puzzles in order to progress; some of them require items you discover in the environment, and others demand nothing more than your wits. These puzzles are easily one of Fetch’s strongest aspects. They’re not obtuse in the same way as many other point-and-click adventure games, but they aren’t a cakewalk, either.

And on the subject of pointing and clicking, Fetch is bursting at the seams with interactive background elements. Nearly every section of the game has at least a couple of things worth tapping on to see their reaction. I mean, who doesn’t love tapping on a skull and hearing it chatter?

And when you’re not tapping things or solving puzzles, chances are you’re playing a mini-game of some sort.Fetch is full of them, and playing them is a necessary part of progressing in the game. Some of them borrow a little too much from classic arcade games and feel more clichéd than fun, but most of them are entertaining. My absolute favorite of the lot was the one that took place within the in-game version of MOHAI (totally meta, I know), where you fire away at various enemies and items while learning about different periods of human history. It was educational and violent!

Given the game’s presence in MOHAI (and MOHAI’s presence in the game), I would be remiss not to discuss its visuals. I debated for a while about the best way to describe them, but I finally decided that classic animation with a modern flare worked best. This is because Fetch features lush, 2D backgrounds, as well as 3D, polygonal characters. You’d think these two styles would be at war with each other, but they actually work in tandem quite wonderfully. There’s nothing quite like a giant 3D alligator popping out from the depths of a seemingly 2D (and oddly beautiful) sewer.

Fetch is a game that oozes personality, thanks in no small part to its gorgeous visuals, lively world, and less-is-more approach to storytelling. If you’ve been in search of a solid point-and-click adventure game —and you’re not a dyed in the wool cat person—you won’t regret picking this one up.

Gamezebo Review

Read more: http://www.gamezebo.com/games/fetch/review

New Releases Round-Up by Pocket Gamer

Watch the Official Action Trailer: FETCH

Fetch, from Big Fish Games, is a casual point-and-click adventure with some wonderful art and great animation.

You play as this little kid who has lost his pooch, and must solve a series of simple puzzles while you track him down.

I need to play some more to see if it gets more tricky, but it’s certainly intriguing. It’s also being shown off in Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry.

Read about it: http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhone/New+releases+round-up/news.asp?c=49493

4 out of 5 Stars on 148apps.com

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Big Fish Games is a well known name for fans of any casual gaming experience, from Hidden Object searching to Match Three puzzling. While the company has delved into some casual adventure gaming, a truly original and designed specifically for mobile experience is a hugely positive thing to see. Fetch is that title and while it’s not perfect, it is a fun amalgamation of exploration and simple arcade gaming.

Following the story of a boy whose dog has been kidnapped by a mysterious fire hydrant, Fetch takes players to a mysterious world where robots and huge monsters roam within. There’s a plot afoot involving the kidnap of many dogs and it’s down to the young boy to stop it. It’s all quite reminiscent of a family adventure and its visuals are similarly delightful.

Players wander around with taps of the screen, interacting with certain items to get past obstacles. There’s no Hot Spot button which will infuriate novices used to having their hand held, but fans of the genre should appreciate the slight additional challenge. At times, it can be a little uncertain as to what needs doing next but that adds to the longevity of the game. Interspersed amongst these simple puzzles are arcade games which provide items that can be used to pass the current obstacle.

These arcade games are simple but fun. One might involve tapping on alien heads quickly, while another might involve destroying enemy ships. They’re far from convoluted but they break up the pure exploration quite nicely.

At times, it might feel a little confusing as to where to or what to do next, but Fetch holds the attention quite nicely. With a selection of optional things to do too, such as collect all the dog collars scattered around, plus the heartwarming story, there’s enough here to keep players returning for more.

Read more: http://www.148apps.com/reviews/fetch-review/#ixzz2OC0SqkqK

Mobile Adventure Game Exhibited in Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry

Via War Games By Patrick Elliot

WAR GAMES

Big Fish Games has teamed up with fellow Seattle-based institution, the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), to create an installation detailing the development process of their upcoming mobile adventure game, Fetch.

The interactive exhibit highlights various facets of the game’s development, covering the transition from concept art, to design and development, then testing and marketing. There is even a playable demo of Fetch available to visitors, who are encouraged to test the work-in-progress and offer their own unique gameplay ideas.

Headed by the same team behind the Drawn series, Fetch tells the tale of a boy and his dog, who become separated after a (presumably) unfortunate incident with a sentient fire hydrant. The game promises to offer a mix of puzzles and interactive animation, while also working in retro-style arcade games. Fetch is expected to launch within the first half of 2013, and when it does, it will include a museum level that incorporates actual artifacts from MOHAI. Now that’s synergy.

“There are millions of people who play games but most aren’t privy to the process and details that go into actually creating a game,” says MOHAI Executive Director Leonard Garfield, who hopes the Fetch exhibit will “inspire future game makers.” If you’re interested in seeing the “Building a Video Game” installation at MOHAI, you’ve got some time, as it will be on display through September 2013. For more information, visit Big Fish Games.

Go FETCH: Behind the Scenes at MOHAI’s Mobile Game Exhibit

From: Entertainment Designer‘s Elizabeth Alton

Fetch exhibit at MOHAIDo you love to play Angry Birds on your iPhone or Android? Or maybe you prefer the popular Scrabble-inspired app Words with Friends? Chances are if you’re one of the 100 million plus smartphone users in the US, you enjoy some phone gaming. Have you ever wanted to learn more about the creative process of developing your favorite mobile games? A new exhibit at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) in Seattlelets you go behind the scenes to discover what goes into creating a mobile game.

The exhibit, which welcomed the public in December as part of the MOHAI’s reopening, focuses on a mobile game called Fetch that is set to launch in April. The installation was developed in collaboration with video game developer Big Fish Games. It breaks down the entire process of mobile game development from the initial brainstorming sessions to artistic design to wrapping up production.Fetch by Big Fish GamesBig Fish describes Fetch as a “classic adventure game.” It focuses on a boy and his dog, Bear. The mission is to rescue Bear, who has been kidnapped by a rogue fire hydrant. Players have the option of participating in a variety of mini arcade games in order to win prizes and progress through the storyline of the game. Fetch is expected to have a wide appeal with its fun cultural references and classic arcade games.Fetch mobile game exhibitVisitors to the exhibit can view photographs that served as the inspiration for Fetch, from pictures of shaggy dogs to childhood photos of the game developers. They can also witness the evolution of Fetch, through hand-drawn artist renderings that take them from the game’s infancy to its final style. The experience is similar to viewing a storyboard for an animated film. Bear the dog actually gets much shaggier as the drawings progress!

What makes this exhibit unique is its focus on the process of mobile game development. There are a number of museums and exhibits worldwide that focus on videogames and their history, but this is the first exhibit that provides an in-depth look at the entire creation process from start to finish.Fetch at MOHAIThe Fetch installation will be displayed at Seattle’s MOHAI until September. Visitors actually get a sneak peek of the game itself, as it can be played on an iPad that’s part of the exhibit. If you’ve ever wondered how mobile games are created, make your way to MOHAI for a look behind the scenes.MOHAI Seattle

Image sources: bigfishgames.com, blooloop.com, seattlemag.com

FETCH Featured in the Wall Street Journal – How to Make an App

Gaming company Big Fish is showing the steps behind creating it’s latest offering for the iPad, called “Fetch”. It’s a story about a boy trying to save his dog, named “Bear”. WSJ’s Jason Bellini has the story behind an app.

WSJ Live: How to Make an App Video Game for Apple’s App Store

Chris Campbell, a 39-year-old game director at Big Fish Games in Seattle, wanted to make a mobile game about his dog, Bear. That personal inspiration kicked off the lengthy process of creating “Fetch.”

In a video interview (watch above), Mr. Campbell discussed the five steps to making the game, which took a team of nine people an entire year and cost Big Fish just over $1 million. The game, due out this month, follows the journey of a boy trying to rescue his dog.

Mr. Campbell says the development process began a year ago with artists sketching hundreds of drawings, starting with the game’s two main characters, the boy and dog, and moving to the setting and story line. The sketches and story boards helped the company come up with a single premise, which supported every decision in the production process. For “Fetch,” the premise was, “What if a boy’s dog was stolen by a hungry fire hydrant?”

An original sketch of the boy in the game “Fetch.”

The team then went to work for three months building the first 10 minutes of “Fetch.” Illustrators converted the concept drawings into computer renderings. 3-D animators gave the characters a digital “skeleton,” which they then used to “rig” and “weight” the models.

For the next nine months, artists, animators and game developers collaborate on a production map to program in different “if-then” scenarios, depending on the choices the players make. For example, “if” the boy has a dog bowl, and he touches the sink, “then” the bowl fills with water. To make the characters and other objects respond to the human touch, developers relied on math, logic, and physics.

At the end of the process, the game was handed off to a quality-control team, which spent all day “trying to break it,” Mr. Campbell said.

After three weeks of bug fixes, “Fetch” was sent to Apple Inc. for approval in the App Store. The game is scheduled to launch on March 21 and sell for $4.99.

The making of “Fetch” is currently an exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. Here are more photos courtesy of Big Fish:

Some initial game play ideas for the park, the game’s third chapter. Big Fish says most of these ideas were refined and implemented in different ways. The crow for instance became a paper airplane.
A series of sketches showing how the art team created the final look of the boy and his dog.

This is the original design for the first area of the game. At each location (A – X) the boy could perform a certain number of tasks. This document helps the developers understand what the possible actions are for each of those locations. 

Top 10 Reasons You’ll Love the Game FETCH

Here are the 10 reasons we think you’ll love FETCH. But we’re a tad biased.

10) Interactive: FETCH was designed to make the most of touch screens. There are Easter Eggs to find in every scene, where a mere tap of your finger will make something come to life. Find some bubble wrap in a box? Pop all the bubbles. Heck, we’d buy the game even if this were the extent of its gameplay. (#OCDconfession)

9) Collectibles: Find 42 dog tags for unbelievably awesome dogs. These dogs are the real world best friends of the developers and their friends.

Kumu and Moke

8) Achievements: Earn 50 achievements with hilarious names, like “That’s a Wrap”, for the aforementioned bubble wrap popping session, and “Turd Place” (you’ll have to find that one out for yourself). Your achievements will be logged in Game Center.

Achievement Card
7) Competition. Show the world just how good you are in six different Game Center leader boards.

6) Arcades: As you explore the world of FETCH, you’ll encounter a variety of old school arcade games. Each one is unique and they get progressively more challenging.

Alien Shooter

5) Adventure: It’s probably been a while since you’ve played a good adventure title, especially on a mobile device. The FETCH world will send you on a wild ride, from city streets, to skull islands, and even to space!

4) Sound: Don’t settle for the same SFX and music looping over and over like you find in most mobile games. FETCH has a rich and diverse music catalog. And the SFX are hilarious and addicting.

3) Dogs: The first domesticated animals; some would argue that they actually domesticated us; dogs hold a special place in our hearts. FETCH was developed as a tribute to the relationship we have with our pets.
Milo and Bear

2) Art: The first thing that anyone says when they play FETCH is, “It’s so pretty!” The art style is what we’d call Retro-Futuristic. It is a fun mash-up between what the 1950s thought we’d be experiencing and the realities of today. Many have described the game as a “living cartoon” or an interactive movie. It’s pure eye candy, screen after screen.

$0.10 Poster
1) Story: Ultimately FETCH is the magical and, at times, heartrending story of a boy and his dog. FETCH’s storyline and simple touch game mechanics bring broad appeal to a wide audience of kids and adults. The storyline is sweet without being saccharine and has just the right amount of cheeky, well-intentioned humor that will bring smiles gamers of all ages.

Classic adventure meets arcade in this visually brilliant, fully interactive experience! Enough said.

FETCH Partners with the NOAH Center to Save Lives

The Drawn team’s newest game FETCH–which is set to launch on March 21, 2013 from the App Store–is about a boy who goes on an adventurous mission to rescue his dog after it was taken by a nefarious fire hydrant. In conjunction with this soon to be released game, we’ve partnered with a local pet organization, The Northwest Organization for Animal Help (NOAH) Center, to help our four-legged friends!

The NOAH Center is dedicated to stopping the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable and treatable homeless dogs and cats in Washington State.

“We are committed to high quality spay and neuter programs available for low income residents, family friendly pet adoptions, humane education, and volunteer programs through our state-of-the art facilities and Spay/Neuter Center.” ~from The NOAH Center’s website

Big Fish employees are pulling together in the honor of our beloved pets, collecting much needed items and money for The NOAH Center. The care packages that we Fishies have created include:

  • Blankettowel, or wash cloth
  • New toy
  • Unopened Bag o’ treats!
  • Wet dog or cat food 
  • Money for continued quality care

We know the pond of Fishies that want to do good in the world and positively impact the lives of others is larger than just us. You too can participate by donating ANY of the follow care package items: a gently used or new blanket, towel, or wash rag, new toy, unopened bag of treats, or wet dog or cat food (no fish flavors or dyes, please). Of course, cash/check donations are easy to send and offer The NOAH Center the most flexibility to meet the animals’ needs!

  • All item donations can be shipped directly to The NOAH Center at 31300 Brandstrom Road Stanwood, WA 98292.
  • Money can be donated directly online using GiveDirect

Thank you for helping the N.O.A.H. Center and the valuable lives they work to save every day!