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Rocky River app review: swimming against the current



In the last few years there has been a huge trend towards retro gaming. If you’re old enough to remember the pixilated 8 bit games of the 80’s then you might have a problem with the term retro: we all have a hard time admitting that we’re getting older but it happens to everyone. If you’re experiencing a bit of a midlife crisis why not forget buying a motorcycle and find yourself some retro gaming classics? It’s a whole lot safer! Rocky River has been designed in that retro gaming style but it’s also quite challenging and a whole lot of fun. This is a free app and it’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and the iPod touch.

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Rocky River


Swim to Survive

The 1980s could rightfully be considered the decade that introduced the video game as a popular form of entertainment. It seemed like there was a new game just about every week and it was all so new; those were exciting times! These days there are a lot of app developers that are trying to recreate this sense of excitement that was so evident back then. The developers of Rocky River have succeeded where others have failed. This app definitely has that retro gaming feel and it’s also very challenging.

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While I enjoyed this game for the most part I did have a couple of issues with it. This app is filled with annoying pop-up ads. These ads are full-paged and it’s impossible to avoid them as they appear after every second or third game. The other issue I had with this game was that it seemed just a little too hard to control, even on the rookie level. It’s great that the developer wanted to make the game challenging but it has to be winnable or the user will lose interest quite quickly. This app will require 30.4 MB of free space on your iOS device.

How to Play

The first thing you’ll notice when you start up the app is the retro look and feel of the game. It really does have that classic retro appeal. This app is also integrated with Game Center so you can compare your high score against the scores of your online friends. You can also share your scores through Facebook and Twitter as well.

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Before you start your actual game you’ll be asked if you want to play as a rookie or a veteran. I found even the rookie level quite challenging. You can also choose between regular and goofy controls; goofy controls actually switch the controls so that a right tap is actually a left tap and vice versa. This really does make things interesting.

The object of the game is to move your fish up the river by tapping left and right to keep it moving against the current. If you stop tapping the current will quickly carry you away so be careful. You also have to avoid the shore and the rocks, if you come into contact with them at all its game over. The controls work well but it’s very difficult to avoid the oncoming obstacles. I did enjoy this game at first, but when I found it difficult to progress too far to be honest I lost interest. 

Rocky River


Pros and Cons


  • Great retro gaming feel
  • Game center compatible
  • Not simple to master


  • Filled with annoying pop-up ads
  • A little too challenging

Final Words

Rocky River has a great retro gaming feel to it. It’s definitely a throwback to the games of yesteryear. I enjoyed the game at first, but I actually found it a little too challenging. If you don’t mind a real challenge though you may still be interested in this one.


Rocky River

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Cherry is a hard-working writer and an aspiring web designer who can't go a day without using her favorite apps. She's always on the lookout for new apps and enjoys discovering ones that others have overlooked.