Review: Ridiculous Fishing

There’s something I need to come clean about: I really bloody hate fishing. I mean, I can appreciate it as a means of survival, sure. But recreation? Please.

This in mind, there is an absolutely certain way you can get me to buy your game: include fishing on its feature list. The only reason I bothered to play Ocarina of Time in the end was to get to the bit with the fishing. That’s actually a complete fabrication, but you get the picture.

The point to all this rhetoric is Vlambeer, I love you.

If you’ve played the original Radical Fishing (which is both free and radical), you’ll have an idea of what to expect in a bout with Ridiculous Fishing: redneckery; unsustainable fishing methods; MINIGUNS. This last point cannot be stressed enough, and I would have underlined it, emboldened it and cast it in gyrating pink letters of 82-point glory if I could have got it all past my editor and the laws of physics.

If you are new to this gig, don’t be alarmed! It’s all perfectly inexplicable. In Ridiculous Fishing, you take the role of Billy – a man seeking redemption, and almost certainly not the inspiration for Hemingway’s great work of literature. Your job is to help Billy catch truly outlandish quantities of fish and/or sea monster.

This is how it works: on the way down, you tilt and angle to avoid touching all creatures great and small; when your hook latches onto something, or you reach the limit of your line, Billy starts reeling in and it’s time to snag as many profitable denizens of the deep as you can; when your maritime bounty reaches the surface, everything gets flung into the firmament and you rack up the dollars by blowing it all to bits with a big gun. Catch enough species, and you unlock the next area to over-fish.

You’ll buy new gear to help you on your quest, as well as hats that, incredibly, aren’t part of some nefarious in-app purchase scheme. Indeed, there are no in-app purchases at all, a fact that more than makes up for the slightly higher-than-usual price of this alluring (ahem) little game.

But look, it’s not perfect. After a while the game’s central (and pretty much only) jig starts to get a little tired, and many of the weapon unlocks are more gimmicky than useful. However, this doesn’t detract from the fact that this is a fine iOS game, easily the best “casual” title I’ve played in a very long while. The aesthetic and humour are spot-on, and the package is as polished as it gets.

Considering the heartache Vlambeer went through to get this to gold, I’m very happy indeed it’s a thing that exists.

Ridiculous Fishing is available on the iTunes Store for $2.99. Yes, it’s totally worth it.