Genre(s): Fishing, Sports, Simulation
Platform: Xbox One (also available on Nintendo Switch and PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 13/08/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Fishing Adventure is a barebone fishing game where players can attempt to capture over thirty different species of fish across seven large locations; all of which are inspired by real-life places across the world. Fishing aficionados will be happy to learn that the game features real fishing gear and fans and newcomers alike can enjoy the soothing relaxing sound of nature.
After selecting an available region to fish, you can roam around the body of water and find the perfect spot to start fishing. You’ll need to press X in order to cast your line and once you’ve done so, while you wait for a bit, you’ll see a small prompt at the top of the screen that will indicate when something is potentially about to bite; simultaneously, your controller will vibrate slightly, prompting you to press X once more and get the fish. Afterwards, you can use RT to bring back the line with your prize. Once you’ve captured a fish, you can either sell or release it.
When you first begin, there’s only one body of water available to your character to fish. As you progress, you’ll be able to unlock new areas. And boy, does this game add a new level of grinding. Whereas typical (J)RPG experiences have players grinding for additional XP to gain new skills and increase stats, Fishing Adventure will push players to grind for both XP and money. If you sell the fish, you’ll be given a bit of money (depending on the fish) and a fair amount of XP, whereas if you release it you obviously get no money and a larger bump of XP. Annoyingly enough, new areas are only available when you reach a specific level and when you have enough currency to “buy” the license in order to be allowed to fish in the new area. So there’s not really any incentive to release any catch as you need both money and XP to explore new areas.
Fishing Experts Will Feel at Home; Newcomers Will Be Overwhelmed
And yes, the game features a shop where you can buy new and better equipment such as rods, reels, lines, hooks etc., among others, in order to catch bigger fishes and thus get bigger rewards. Again, if you’re new to the fishing world, the game will not give you hints and help in order to get a better understanding of what the gear does. Additionally, if you need a break from grinding, you can tackle region-based quests such as catching five fishes in five minutes, catching a total of 8.00kg across two breams, or six carps totaling 50.00kg; just to name a few.
The game’s biggest problem is the clear lack of tutorial – as if anyone picking up a controller would know how to play a fishing game. Once you pass the main screen, you find yourself near a body of water, “ready” to fish, with a clunky HUD and lack of instructions. You can thankfully look at the controls via the game’s menu. It’s quite baffling that companies have managed to create fun and easy to pick up and play fishing mini-games, yet here we are with a developer creating such a frustrating fishing gaming experience. If you don’t know anything about fishing, you’ll look puzzled at the HUD wondering what each thing does, and it’s not explained. And everything in the shop is so expensive versus the amount of $ you get when selling catches, it makes for a very grindy experience.
Nice Relaxing Way To Unwind after Work
While the overall look of the game is fine, it does look like it was developed for a PC running on Windows 95 (I mean the devs do say “Advanced graphics settings for older computers”) so obviously, don’t expect it to blow you away. It looks fine as a whole and the bevy of locations is nothing to laugh at and they all have their little difference to feel like you’re not always in the same fishing spot. The audio side of things is pretty barebone. The score in the menus is a relaxing and enjoyable soundtrack whereas the fishing only features nature’s quiet noise and/or the rain.
One thing is for sure, Fishing Adventure is, much like its real-life counterpart, a game of patience. While it is interesting and complex in its simplicity, the game seems to target fishing experts rather than being an approachable experience. It’s also surprisingly (and annoyingly) grind-heavy for a sports game which can turn off newcomers along with the fact that it doesn’t do anything to help understand the core of the activity. On the flipside, fishing aficionados will revel in this virtual experience. Those curious, such as myself, approach with caution because it will require a bit of patience (and grind) to progress.
Rapid Reviews Rating
2 out of 5
Fishing Adventure can be purchased on the Xbox Marketplace.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.