Title: A Fisherman’s Tale
Publisher: Vertigo Games
Genre: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle
Platform: Oculus Quest
Audience: PEGI 7
Release Date: 27/11/19
Price: £10.99 – This title was purchased by the reviewer.
Inception meets Lighthouse
The main hook (pun intended) in A Fisherman’s Tale is that you essentially are controlling a lighthouse, inside a lighthouse, inside a lighthouse, near infinite. Each chapter in A Fisherman’s Tale has you walking through your lighthouse, and it’s many rooms while also interacting with a miniature version of the same set piece as a puppet.
From the opening, the game’s unique blend of perspective and dimension altering puzzle mechanic unleashes a unique blend of puzzle solving that requires you to think, not only linearly, but also in scope and scale of the world around or in front of you. Moving items in your view to drop within the smaller scale miniature will make that item appear large in front of you, or vice versa.
Without spoiling some of the puzzling mechanics that have you thinking in multiple dimensions, you will find yourself opening up cupboards, interacting with items and objects in ways you hadn’t thought of before in a VR game. If you’ve played other VR puzzle games, there are the standard lever-action puzzles, piece together an item to progress style puzzles, open a can of tuna puzzles, you know…the normal puzzl-y stuff is all here.
We are going to need a bigger boat
A Fisherman’s Tale is a story-driven game where the lighthouse operator, caught in a storm and dreamlike state, imagines and sees his lighthouse in front of him, as a smaller puppet-like version of himself moves about the cabin in the same way, but in a diminutive state.
The miniature, within a miniature, style diorama requires you to think spatially in how items would resize themselves if placed inside the miniature, or sometimes outside, become larger then. This style of puzzle solving is like nothing I have ever experienced, either within VR or within traditional puzzle games on PC or consoles.
Within the game, you can teleport around the world and interact with objects by picking them up, turning them, or pulling on them. Because you are a puppet your ‘marionette’ arms can also grapple items far away from you, which is helpful in VR and is reminiscent of the auto pick up items mechanic that many VR games utilise.
A visual narrative storybook
Another aspect of A Fisherman’s Tale that helps to engross you into the story is the cell-shaded visual style. The world and its items are rendered in a style very fitting for the world and keeps items really noticeable when it comes to seeing and knowing what you can interact with.
Along your journey, which isn’t long, and is encapsulated in five or six chapters, the fisherman will narrate to you some of what is going on in the world around him, as well as a bit of a hint system if you struggle to find solutions quickly.
A short tale
Many VR games, especially puzzle games, often can be completed in a few hours. A Fisherman’s Tale is no exception, I completed the game in two sittings, though I probably could have done it in one night if I would have wanted to. This isn’t to say the game is poor because of how short it is; it’s quite the contrary. I was so engrossed in the gameplay that I just wanted to keep playing through the game. When a game hooks you especially in VR time, stops around you and you just want to play.
The downside with the linear style puzzle games though is that there’s not much in terms of replayability. Once I was completed with A Fisherman’s Tale, there wasn’t anything else to do with regards to the game and the story. I could replay the game and complete the puzzles faster, though there’s not much in terms of fun there.
A Fisherman’s Tale is a unique take on the puzzle narrative genre of games which are plentiful on the Oculus Quest VR platform. If you are a fan of games like Shadow Point and The Room VR you will like A Fisherman’s Tale. The game is on the short side, but the ride throughout is fun and engrossing.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase A Fisherman’s Tale from the Oculus Store on the following link, https://www.oculus.com/experiences/quest/2299967930057156/?locale=en_GB