Switch version tested
Review code provided
When it comes to some good old fashioned outdoor activities that ooze relaxation, Fishing can usually be put on that list. Given that most people are locked indoors currently, the prospect of heading out to a nice quiet lake or seaside pier on a sunny day to spend a few hours donning the wellington boots and stare attentively at a fishing line until a dip of the nib indicates you can stand up and shout “SMEAGOL! I’ve got a fish!” is readily appealing.
Fishing titles have been somewhat popular for a long time, from back in the days of chunky peripherals for Sega Bass Fishing or Pro Cast Fishing to the more serious take from Ultimate Fishing Simulator, there is a trout catching experience for everyone. Ultimate Games have now brought a fine balance of pick up and play action mixed with a dose of steady progression and the option for motion controls without the need for some chunky plastic device if you feel that way inclined. Let’s pack the sandwiches, grab our license and take a look at Fishing Adventure on the Nintendo Switch!
There is no standing on ceremony here, once I fired up Fishing Adventure it was straight into the action, so to speak. Being presented with a world map with countries to visit ranging from Poland, France, Norway, Germany, USA, Canada and Haiti, my choice was made easy as Poland was the only county unlocked. Not to worry says I, eagerly clicking and loading into a Poland based lake full of picturesque scenery, strutting my stuff towards the waters edge, rod in hand in a first-person view. With a quick prompt to press ZR to swing my shaft with a handy power meter to gauge the ferocity of my wrist action, I cast my maggot across the lake and into the water and began the waiting game.
It was not long before a pair of oversized lips appeared, no I hadn’t turned Instagram on by mistake, but with the handy image of my float with a clear waterline indicating that a fish had taken the bait I struck the line with a click of the ZR button once more and snagged my lunch. Using ZL to reel it in I was presented with my catch and the option to either let it go or sell it for a small amount of coin. As a wise man once said in a movie you wish you hadn’t seen “there’s always a bigger fish” so I headed down the lake to where I could rent a boat and rowed myself deeper into the lake in search of bigger fish and more XP/Coin. Although not explained as such, it was easy to see where this was going, level up by catching fish, earning coins to purchase new equipment in the shop and once I had reached a certain level and saved enough coin, I could purchase the next licence and head off to a new location.
Though not the most in-depth premise it served the purpose and was put together well. The store was packed with a large range of new rods, line, reels, hooks and bait, all of which were suited to catching specific types of fish in different locations. Once I had reached level two and gained access to the first batch of new items I was instantly rewarded by attracting and catching new fish, I was also pleasantly surprised to see that upon returning to the lake the weather had turned from bright and sunny to rainy, which in turn also attracted a new range of fish.
Though the formula was a bit of a rinse a repeat affair and thankfully a bit more arcadey instead of straight-up simulation, which was a relief as I didn’t want to wait for hours on end for a fish to bite, I felt there was a good chunk of content on offer and although the progression is steady it may become a grind for some. There are also a series of challenges to complete at each lake if you wanted to mix things up a bit, these range from catching the required number of fish in a certain time limit to catching specific types and weight groups.
Visually, Fishing Adventure isn’t a masterpiece to look at but it’s good enough, the locations are varied enough and all stand out from each other and give a good sense of the countries they are representing. I enjoyed the weather effects and liked how it had an effect on the type of catch you might end up with. Animations are basic but again, they are good enough though I will say not having the option to turn your head and look around when rowing is a bit of a pain.
One inclusion I really liked, though admittedly didn’t use as much, was the motion controls. Whether playing on the big screen or just detaching the Joy-Cons and using the screen stand you can use the Gyro function to simulate casting movements. This was little more than a novelty but it did entertain as I thought back to the old Dreamcast rod that cost nearly as much as the game it went with back in the day. Chances are if you are playing with younger players they will enjoy the experience a bit more being able to swing the Joy-Con as let’s face it, fishing isn’t exactly the most exciting thing and there is little you can do to change that fact without ruining it. Sound effects were clear and crisp and through my time playing, I encountered no bugs or glitches to speak of.
Fishing Adventure is a middle of the road experience for people who want to play a relaxing and simple fishing game for a reasonable price. Listed at £8.09/$9.99 standard price on the eShop this simple fishing title will scratch an itch for a while but its lack of licensing and real progression will cause serious fishing fans to look elsewhere.
TBG Score: 6.5/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: 21/02/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Sport, Simulation
Developer: Ultimate Games
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Download link: eShop