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‘Ridiculous Fishing’ for iOS game review

Those who are into fishing would know that it’s not a terribly exciting activity. In fact, fishing is often a way for many to spend hours relaxing by the water, with the occasional tug on the string providing the only entertainment whatsoever. But what if you had a toaster, hairdryer and chainsaw attached to your hook?

This what puts the ridiculous in Ridiculous Fishing, a brand new game for iOS that has already won awards and praise from the media. The game turns the rather boring act of fishing into a crazy and often hilarious adventure. Let’s take a closer look at it.

Title
Ridiculous Fishing
Developer
Vlambeer
Platform
iOS
Release Date
March 14, 2013
Content Reating
12+
Size
48.3MB
Price
$2.99

Gameplay

The gameplay in Ridiculous Fishing is rather simple. You throw the hook in the water and as it goes down you try to avoid all the fishes that are swimming by. Yes, you have to avoid them. If you touch any one of them, then the hook stops going downward and then it starts ascending. At this point you do the exact opposite; you try to collect as many fishes as possible by turning the device side by side.

Now this is where the game gets ridiculous. Once the fishes are out, Billy, the dude who’s fishing, pulls out his gun and shoots the living daylights out of them. Yes, the fishes are tossed up in the air and you have to shoot as many as you can before they fall back into the water. The more you shoot, the more money you get.

Once you have enough money, you can buy items from the store. The store can be accessed from a dilapidated old phone that Billy’s using. Here you can buy items from five different categories. There are the reels and you can choose to purchase a longer one. You sort of have to if you need to go deep enough and collect any significant number of fishes and default one is too short. Then you can also upgrade your default pistol with more powerful shotguns, uzis, magnums and even a goddamned bazooka, if you manage to collect enough cash.

Next are the lures, where you can choose to have a chainsaw lure that lets you press and hold on the screen to cut through the fishes if avoiding them is not possible. You can only press and hold for a limited time, though, although you can upgrade this time limit as well by purchasing a bigger fuel tank. Some lures give you boost as you cut through the fishes and others let you slow down temporarily while going back up.

The tech section lets you purchase stuff like springs that launch the fishes higher in the air, giving you more time to shoot them, toasters and hairdryers, which zap the first and second fishes respectively that you touch, in case you couldn’t avoid them in time. There are also lamps, which are absolutely essential for when you go deep down or else you won’t see a thing.

The last category is miscellaneous, where you find stuff like caps, hats, ties and robes for Billy. Although they may seem useless at first, some of them give you abilities such as getting more cash off each fish sold, etc. You can also buy the Fish-o-pedia here, which gives you information about the various fishes in the game and can be accessed through Billy’s phone.

The game does have a great deal of fishes in it and each one gives you a different amount of cash when you shoot it. Also, there are certain fishes, usually the jellyfish, that you have to avoid as they actually deduct money from your balance. You need to find a certain number of fishes in a level to unlock the next one. Finding them involves hooking and shooting them, and not just floating past them. If you go deep enough you can collect a decent number of fishes at first attempt but some fishes only come out at certain times and so you have to play repeatedly to collect them. Wearing certain items from the Miscellaneous list also affects which fishes come out to play.

The game has four maps, which doesn’t seem like a lot and it isn’t. And the maps are mostly similar, with the major difference being the kind of fishes you find there. You can pretty much finish all four in a day if you take out some time but even otherwise it won’t take you too long to finish the whole game. Having said that, because of the nature of the gameplay, you can still continue playing it even after unlocking everything and find it quite enjoyable.

Graphics and Sound

Ridiculous Fishing has a very distinctive visual style. The 2D animation is dominated by sharply cut polygons which are used to draw everything. On top of that it uses a bright color palette that makes it look like something out of a children’s coloring book. The visuals give the game a whimsical look, which is also conveyed through the weird items you can purchase and the amusing descriptions for the fishes in the game. Of course, what matters is how it looks and it does look very good, especially on a Retina display.

The sound in the game is also very good. The chirpy 8-bit inspired tunes match the colorful visuals of the games and change according to the map you’re in and whether you’re going down or up. The tracks while going back up are especially interesting as they are made to sound like a tune is being played backwards. Overall, the soundtrack is also quite nice and works well with the theme of the game.

Verdict

Despite the high praises heaped on the game I didn’t have particularly high hopes with Ridiculous Fishing as it seemed overly simplistic. However, after spending some time with it I was pleasantly surprised by it. The gameplay is fun and addictive, especially once you get the hang of it and unlock a few items on the store, and the tongue-in-cheek humor makes it that much more enjoyable. The visuals and sounds are also quite good. For $2.99, Ridiculous Fishing is good value, especially for a universal app with absolutely no in-app purchases.

Rating: 8/10
Pros: Simple yet fun gameplay, plenty of fun items to unlock, impressive visuals and sound
Cons: Not enough maps, no way to quit or restart a game once started

Download: iTunes

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