Some pets just seem to have it all; they are properly fed, groomed and loved by their families. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Yello. As pet to a hyperactive little girl named Mathilda, Yello leads a bleak and terror-filled life. Thus, longing for freedom, he jumps out of his bowl and escapes into the river. This is the premise of Chasing Yello, an endless runner game that recently hit the App Store.
Chasing Yello is an endless runner (er, swimmer) that stars a goldfish, Yello, who jumps into the river to escape the terrible imprisonment that is his bowl. But the river isn't exactly a safe haven either - obstacles lay in every corner. It is your task to help him move past these obstacles and swim as far away as you can.
Similar to Temple Run, you tilt the device left or right to control Yello's movements. As you go up the stream, you will run into obstacles; to avoid them, swipe up to jump or swipe down to dive into the water. There are many kinds of obstacles that you'll meet throughout the game, such as floating logs, boulders, piranhas and low bridges. Careful to avoid them, as one hit can send you to your deathbed. Several of the obstacles can only be avoided by a certain way - to get past a burning log, for example, you can only do so by diving underneath it. Thankfully, the game warns you of upcoming hazards by providing unobtrusive warning signs, so you can prepare your fingers.
Adding suspense to the game is Yello's sinister owner, Mathilda, who occasionally comes dangerously close to catching you. More than just a supporting character in the story, she can sometimes chase after you in a boat and try to net you - in which case, you'd better dive quickly. Her voice also continuously taunts you as you play, threatening to eat you for dinner or that you'll never get away. I think this is a nice touch to the game, but if you find it annoying, you can always turn it off in the Settings menu.
Besides containing a questionably large number of natural hazards, the river is also laden with stars and occasionally, bonus items. Stars are the main currency in the game; you use them to buy power-ups or unlock special missions. The bonus items, on the other hand, provide you with temporary boost in speed or a special ability to increase your chance of survival.
Missions, à la Jetpack Joyride, are also available in the game - complete these to unlock achievements and climb up the rank ladder. While there are plenty of missions already available, you can also unlock special ones using the stars you collected.
What I like about the game
Endless runners are popular on the App Store. Some became big hits - take, for example, Tiny Wings, Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run - and there are plenty more of them that compete for your time. That said, I think Chasing Yello is a considerable option to add to your collection.
While the game doesn't bring new improvements to the existing game mechanics, Chasing Yello is a solid runner with a cute theme. Gameplay-wise, it offers everything you would want to see in a fulfilling endless runner - branching paths, a variety of obstacles, a multitude of missions to complete and all sorts of power-ups.
One of the things that I really like in Chasing Yello is the way the river branches out into multiple courses, each with its own trade-offs. One branch may carry more stars but also more obstacles, while the other is narrower but easier to navigate. These choices can really force you to react quickly and decide which path you want to go.
I also really like the original back story of the game. Mathilda, in my opinion, makes a great antagonist, even without ever showing her face throughout the game. The developers did a great job by adding her taunts in the game - it makes the game more interesting and unique.
If you like endless runners, or are just looking to add more games to your casual games collection, then Chasing Yello is a solid game that you should consider. Featuring a unique theme, great antagonist and plenty of missions and items, it would get you playing for a while.