You know, I can't say I've ever formally Gone Fishing, capitals for emphasis and properness. I've never been out on a boat in the middle of the water, waiting for one to bite. There was a camping trip with my grandparents, when I was young, that happened to be out by a lake. And I remember throwing out a few casts. I even want to say I remember catching and releasing a few small fish.

I was young, then, of course. These days, I'd be a lot more squeamish about the idea. Somewhere in there, fish went from Objects to Animals. But there's a certain...Romanticism, to fishing, that's very distinct from other forms of turning Animals into Food. A sort of zen quality to it. It's peaceful. Patient. Right up until the moment you feel the tug on your line, and you have to spring into action.

Fishing games, as a genre, have waffled on which part of this experience to capture. Some simplify it down, into almost a call and response; see how a lot of fishing minigames work, where you just wait for the bobber to drop then hit the button. Others focus on the excitement part, bringing a lively arcade experience. And others still focus on the zen, the physics, the little details.

And then there's my time with Fishing Adventure. Which feels uncomfortably stuck between all three, and doesn't quite do any of them to satisfaction.

I don't want to bury the lede here on this, I didn't really enjoy this game all that much. I never relish having to say that, knowing how hard making any creative work is, but I also have to be honest.

So, okay, let's go down the line.

Gameplay

It shouldn't surprise you that there's not a lot of fictional premise to Fishing Adventure, and I didn't expect one. It's a fishing game. You fish. You're a fisher, at a water source full of fish. That's kind of all you need, you know?

And the gameplay is going to be, in the broad strokes, like any fishing game. Cast, wait for a fish to bite, reel it in. But every game handles this differently, in how much detail it puts into this. And Fishing Adventure has gone very...Simplistic. You just hold the button to cast for power, not unlike a golf swing in simpler golf games, and then hit another button to start reeling in. There's very limited control on either the cast or the reel, with things like directionality playing next to no control. Depth doesn't even seem to be a factor, as sinking lures play the same if I cast them straight into the center of the lake as if I aim for the absolute thinnest part of the water to count as water.

The thing is, I was about to say that might be fine if this was an arcadey action filled fishing game, like a Sega Bass Pro Fishing spiritual successor...But that's not true. That game ALSO used heavy amounts of physics, it just went more broad and bold in how it expressed them! What I'm left with here is something that just, doesn't have a lot of meat on the bone.

Graphics, design

Unfortunately, this awkward middle ground continues with the graphics, which don't manage to be charmingly retro-chic looking like a PS1 game or splashy and shiny and new. The game looks more like a mobile game than anything else, with graphics made to look okay on a small screen and interface elements that are simply massive on my 32" monitor.

And speaking of mobile games, the design feeds a lot into those as well. There's just a grind in this game, where bait to catch profitable fish costs most of your profit, levels are slow to come, and cash is in pitiful amounts. The whole thing feels like I'm stuck using the free currency to try and entice me to buy a premium currency, except there isn't any.

But then there are these little oddities that make me think there might be remnants of a purchase system. Notably, every time I boot the game up, there's a little flashing "+3000 coins" in the corner that seems like it's supposed to be either doing something or, far more likely, would originally have taken me to a mobile marketplace to buy those 3000 coins.

It's a bit of a mess technically, as well, with simple things like capturing a button press in one menu so it doesn't trigger another function being overlooked. If I back out of a menu while having cast my line with B, for instance, I'm immediately backed out of fishing mode into walking mode. And I've had the same button confirm multiple dialogue options at once, instead of going through them in order.

Final thoughts

So, I think it's obvious that I didn't have a great time here. And honestly, I feel bad about that. Like I said at the start, I know how hard making even a "basic" game is. I know the sheer amount of work that went into making this real.

But my job here involves a certain degree of separating myself from those emotions when it's down to the wire. I've recommended some flawed games on some other strength; a fantastic soundtrack, an interesting premise, a unique gameplay quirk, just being so damn cheap that it's worth fooling around with for half an hour.

I can't say any of those about Fishing Adventure. If you want an actual fishing experience, there are better games on the system. If you want a splashy arcade experience, there are other games worth looking into. This just...Isn't worth your time, I'm sorry to say.