Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds

aka: Freddi Fish: Kelp Seed Mystery, Freddi Fisk och fallet med de försvunna sjögräsfröna, Freddi Fisk og de forvunne sjøgressfrøene, Fritzi Fisch und der verschwundene Schatz , Het verhaal van de Verdwenen Zeewierzaadjes, Marine Malice et Le Mystère Des Graines d'Algues , Rybka Freddi - Delo o Morskoj Kapuste
Moby ID: 1199
Windows 3.x Specs
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Description official descriptions

Freddi Fish and her pal Luther must find Grandma Grouper's missing kelp seeds. Without them, all the sea creatures will starve. Freddi and Luther follow clues through underwater caves and canyons and outwit two criminal sharks to recover the kelp seeds.

Spellings

  • Рыбка Фредди - Дело о Морской Капусте - Russian spelling

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Credits (Windows 3.x version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 9 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 2 reviews)

Getting closer

The Good
Humongous Entertainment took a big risk with this game. It was originally being developed with the same computer-drawn style as previous games. But then they decided to start over with a largely hand-drawn style reminiscent of more traditional animation. And it paid off quite handsomely, for this is the game that put them on the map.

The graphics mark a considerable improvement over earlier titles. The characters now look less like video game sprites and more like something out of a cartoon. And they have a much greater variety of animations. The backgrounds have also grown more detailed. Furthermore, the clickpoints are now fairly numerous. And there are plenty of hidden interactions between them. It's unfortunate that Humongous would scale back on such interactions in later games. They make for nice Easter eggs.

Some compromises had to be made in the process. The protagonists are now placed on a fixed position for every screen. But that's no big loss. Previous games never put the ability to move the protagonist on the screen to any good use beyond allowing for some screens to scroll a bit to the left or right. And by restricting movement to transitions between screens, said transitions look much more natural than before. If you can find a copy of the (unfortunately fairly uncommon) 2007 version, you can also skip most of these transitions, which really helps speed the game up. (The 2007 version has some other enhancements as well, so it's arguably the game's definitive version, even if it also has some minor bugs. The original 1994 version is probably the worst.)

The overall design is also an improvement. Though still rather simplistic compared to later titles, most of its puzzles are moderately complex and make good use of most of the game's world. There is also some replay value, as the three bottles you are tasked with obtaining are randomly distributed across seven different locations (with minor variations in one of them), some of which require different puzzles. Though there are unfortunately two throwaway locations that don't involve any puzzles.

Sound-wise, everything is pretty solid. The voice-acting is a good deal more professional than in previous Junior Adventures. I'm not a huge fan of Annette Toutonghi's performance as Freddi Fish, but that's largely because I'm more used to the way she sounds in later games. Her original take on the character heard here isn't bad by any means. It's just a bit generic. The music is also decent. I don't think George Sanger quite managed to live up to his soundtrack for Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, but he still managed to come up with some fairly atmospheric tunes that fit the underwater setting quite well. Though they could have used a bit more variety.

The Bad
But even with all these improvements, some of the roughness of Humongous' early days still shows. Most notably in the writing. Most characters still have little in the way of a personality. A lot of them once again have only very basic dialogue that exists only to convey important information. And while there is a bit more flavor text than in the past, most of it is pretty bland as well, though there are rare exceptions. This also extends to the villains, whose characterization is pretty flimsy, especially during the ending.

And although the graphics have aged far more gracefully than in the DOS-era games, they still look pretty dated compared to later ones. Freddi tends to get pretty off-model all the time, to the point where it's hard to tell how exactly she is even supposed to look like. You can tell that the artists had no prior experience with hand-drawn animation. What's more, many of the backgrounds are colored a bit too realistically for their own good. This makes the limited color palette all the more apparent and causes them to look washed out and uninviting.

This is also one of only three Junior Adventures that don't follow what I call the "independent objectives" formula. Usually, these games give you a number of primary objectives that you need to achieve in order to win. And each of them can be pursued independently from the others. Thanks to this, you can largely choose your own route through these games and will have constant opportunities to make progress no matter where you go.

This is only partially the case here. While the puzzle chains for individual bottle locations are indeed independent of one another, for some reason, the developers saw the need to restrict the order in which you can obtain them. Even if you come across their location, bottles will only be visible once the game wants you to collect them. And while you're always told where the next one can be found, said information is of little use at first, since you won't initially know how to get there. As a result, you can end up aimlessly stumbling through half of the world without finding a single bottle, simply because you went the wrong way. You may still manage to solve some puzzles along the way, but depending on what bottle locations are used, it may turn out that doing so won't help you even later down the line. Because the game doesn't disable most of its puzzles even when their reward is pointless on the current playthrough.

There is a bit of optional content as well, but it's nothing special. As far as minigames are concerned, there's a somewhat passable shoot 'em up minigame and a very basic math game. Calling the latter a game might be a bit of a stretch, though. It's really just exercises without entertainment. There is also a theater with a series of more elaborate animations than the usual clickpoint fare. A few of them are slightly amusing, but the rest are just generic performances with no gags attached.

The Bottom Line
All in all, this game marks an important point in Humongous' transition from their early years to their golden age. But it doesn't mark the end of it. Said end would still take another two years to come.

Windows · by SomeRandomHEFan (164) · 2020

Very good kids adventure game with some educational items snuck in.

The Good
It has an excellent story line. Great graphics. Easy mouse interface. And interesting enough that my kids made me finish it while they watched.

The Bad
Parts of the game seemed simplified. Like having to choose between 2 different directions where the better choice was way too obvious. And also there was one part that seemed a little complicated. Putting 4 things in a correct order that took many tries to get it right.

The Bottom Line
You play the part of Freddi Fish as you try to solve the mystery of the missing kelp seeds. Part story part puzzle and part action game.

Windows · by gametrader (208) · 2003

Trivia

References

Occasionally Freddi bumps into a fish named Jason, who looks and sounds suspiciously like a small purple car named Putt-Putt (who is voice-acted by a kid named Jason!)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Melissa Leonard.

Macintosh added by Corn Popper. digiBlast added by KinopioKing. Linux added by Sciere. Wii added by Xoleras. Windows added by Jon Tando. Android, iPhone, iPad added by LepricahnsGold.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, Sciere, Xoleras, Игги Друге, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 28, 2000. Last modified March 2, 2024.