Sep 22, 2014
I’m not really a ‘fisherman’. I’ve no real interest in sitting down by the side of a lake, in the cold and fiddling about with maggots, worms or whatever other gross creatures count as bait. It’s just not my bag.
It’s weird then, that I’ve played and enjoyed so many games that are about fishing. Ridiculous Fishing, Sega Bass Fishing and a slightly obscure Game Boy Color game call Legend of the River King all hold a certain fondness to me. Perhaps it’s the fact they’re nothing like real fishing that I enjoy them so much.
Like the previously mentioned titled, Exotic Fishing holds little in common with real fishing. You simply have a hook at the top of the screen and you press down on the screen to have the bait-free line descend. Whilst this happens, fish swim from each side of the screen and it’s up to you to try and make sure the aquatic creatures end up colliding with your hook. All of this happens whilst a timer ticks down as you have 60 seconds to land as many fish as you can.
It’s incredibly simple. When you have a fish on your line, nothing happens. The game automatically reels them in and you get a couple of points added to your score. Sometimes certain fish will give you a bonus of some kind. Some will give you a score multiplier, others will give you some extra time.
There’s really not a lot to it. I can’t overstate this.
Occasionally you’ll net fish that give you coins or rubies. These forms of currency can be used to unlock skills that ensure following fishing sessions start you off with more time, give you a reel that moves your hook quicker or you can even buy bombs that clear the screen and improve your score instantly.
The problem is that although you can unlock extra ‘things’, none of them matter. Nothing you unlock really changes the way the game’s played it’s therefore difficult to justify spending time unlocking. Extra levels consist of different still background images whilst the fish you catch remain the same. Different fish give you different scores but are caught and reeled in exactly the same.
The real kicker is the fact that the rate at which you gain coins and rubies (which you need to unlock anything) is painfully slow. The only way you can guarantee any coins or rubies is not by playing but by watching sponsored videos. In fact, the way the game’s designed is to almost force you into sitting and watching 3 adverts just so you can unlock a few extra seconds for your fishing sessions.
But it’s ultimately not worth it. There’s no visual or audio charm. The gameplay is beyond simplistic and there’s little to no value in the unlockable skills. Reaching certain milestones offer you a slight goal to aim for, but meeting these goals only unlock crude images of cartoon trophies.
Exotic Fishing is a game that doesn’t ask you to do much and in return it offers nothing much either. A bizarrely pointless title.