There’s a good chance you’ve already heard the long, awful path Ridiculous Fishing took to get to the App Store.
If not, here’s the cliff notes: Vlambeer puts out Radical Fishing on a Flash site and decides, at some point, that they would re-create the game for iOS. The game gets cloned by another developer (Gamenauts) and released as Ninja Fishing. It goes on to sell well regardless of its state as a blatant clone, because it was out first.
Ridiculous Fishing is the next in the line of disposable games that line the App Store. It has an excellent art direction, with everything in the game composed of triangles that make the world look like a tangram come to life, and a decent soundtrack. Tilt controls take the place of the original game’s mouse input and feel tight and responsive. It’s even picked up some pedigree along the way with the likes of Chris Gage (of Spelltower fame) and Greg Wohlwend (most recently Hundreds) joining Vlambeer in the effort. There is definitely a great foundation already in place.
Ridiculous Fishing takes place in three different sections. The first section has you descending into the depths of the sea, avoiding the aquatic life below for as long as you can. Once contact is made, the game mechanics (and music) reverse in the second phase of the game. As you ascend, your job is to hook as many fish as you can while Billy, the fisherman, reels in the line. Once the haul reaches the surface, it’s onto phase three: the firing phase. You’ll tap (or drag, depending upon your weapon of choice) to kill these sea creatures dead so they can’t swim away. This, along with the massive number of critters you can get on your line, is what makes the game “ridiculous”.
These animals, 66 in all, each come with their own stats and properties. Some are elusive and only come out at certain times or while you have particular items equipped while others are available only after completing the story section of the game. You get cash for each fish you kill along the way. The deeper you go, the more expensive the fish tend to be. You’ll also encounter jellyfish, which should be avoided if possible as they reduce your money, and are more of a nuisance than anything else. Once in the air, some animals, like the hard-shelled clam, may take extra effort to kill with their higher armor ratings. It does offer a change of pace and you may find yourself avoiding some of the nuisance fish just as much as the jellyfish.
The cash you get for your kills will buy Billy longer fishing lines, better guns, and power-ups like the chainsaw that lets you slice through fish on your way down or a toaster attachment that nukes every fish on screen and allows for a second chance. It, along with the different fishing locations, adds a sense of progress that can keep you motivated and playing. It’s also terrific to see a fully-contained game devoid of in-app purchases, especially when it’d be so easy for them to adjust these rates to entice the player to part with a few more bucks.
However, I experienced a very serious case of déjà vu as I played Ridiculous Fishing. I couldn’t shake this feeling that I was playing a mash-up of Journey Escape and the can shooting section of Hogan’s Alley. There’s more going on here than in either of those games, really, but they are massively dated titles. Then, as I progressed and completed the story section of the game in a matter of hours, I felt the similarities in progress between Ridiculous Fishing and Jumping Finn Turbo, a game that epitomizes the state of disposable mobile gaming.
Ridiculous Fishing is fun, no doubt, but I feel like this is a game that people just wanted to love too much. It’s a true underdog tale that makes Ridiculous Fishing instantly more interesting and likeable than it has any business being. It doesn’t change the way I view the game, though, especially when compared to the glut of equally playable titles out there for less.
While there are many modern touches and loads of humor and heart, Ridiculous Fishing just feels archaic to me. The game expects players to look at it as more than the sum of its parts, but I was unable to do that. Ridiculous Fishing was a game that was fun for a weekend that just went stale far quicker than I expected.
(Ridiculous Fishing is a universal app that supports widescreen displays. It is available in the App Store for $2.99 and features GameCenter achievements and leaderboards. Ridiculous Fishing version 1.01 was used for this review.)Tweet
About the Author
|Fade to Slack is a founding member of Delta Attack, an American expatriate in South Korea, and a true believer in the legitimacy of mobile gaming.
Keep up with him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Fade2Slack so he can justify having a Twitter account.
Fade to Slack has written 328 posts on Delta Attack.