If you take care of them with fancy filtration devices and son on, the average pet store goldfish can live up to 25 years. In reality, careless child carers generally mean a couple of years is a good innings before a fish is given the traditional toilet burial.
Yello, the titular hero of dreamfab’s game, is one such unlucky fish. His seven-year-old owner Mathilda loves to play with him out of the tanks and leave him to flounder on the playroom carpet.
This plucky piscine is determined to make his way back to watery safety, but he needs your help to fling him back into the bowl and get some toy-destroying revenge along the way.
While the 2D physics puzzling mechanics are copied from the Angry Birds and Super Stickman Golf templates, there's a light-hearted, cutesy appeal to Saving Yello that’s only marred by limited challenge and jerky performance on many devices.
Each of the nearly 50 stages tasks you with tapping on Yello, dragging out his body until his bulging eyes nearly pop out, and then sending him smashing into as much breakable scenery as possible.
While later levels develop a near maze-like quality, requiring deft navigation, at the start you can make easy progress by making a few well-aimed shots to plop into a bowl at the other side of the room.
While the difficulty curve is never steep enough to trouble serious fans of Rovio’s feathery output, there's some challenge to be had in earning all three stars for each level.
Success relies on destroying piles of toys to fill a score multiplier gauge, with sets of crushed cuddly animals also appearing in match-three fruit machine system at the bottom of the screen.
Green around the gills
The physics are a bit livelier than Angry Birds's, with Yello able to catch power-ups like explosives and freezing ice blocks in his mouth and use them to clear obstacles and wreak score-boosting havoc in the process.
These knockabout physics do come with a price, however, as on both a standard phone and a Tegra-powered tablet the frame-rate often slows to a crawl during bigger explosions.
You get the first ten levels of Saving Yello for free, but after that there’s a modest fee (around 60p) to unlock the rest of the game’s three household-themed settings.
That’s reasonable enough value for a couple of hour’s play and, with the lure of OpenFeint achievements to unlock and leaderboards to climb, there’s also a fair amount of replay value here if you take to the game's cute yet derivative charms.