Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption
Vlambeers, iPad/iPhone: $3; Rated: 12+
Content: Fish erupt in little clouds of pixelated blood when shot.
Drop a hairdryer-, toaster-, and chainsaw-equipped hook into the water, let it sink as low as possible, snag as many fish as you can on the way up, fling the fish into the air, and blast them to pulp with your orbital laser.
Folks, it doesn’t get any more fun than that. Ridiculous Fishing may be the easiest app recommendation I’ve made in ages, because it’s the kind of game that appeals to everyone.
Based a 2010 game by Vlambeers called Radical Fishing, Ridiculous Fishing was brought to iOS by Vlambeers, Zach Gage (Spelltower, Bit Pilot, Unify) and Greg Wohlwend (Hundreds, Solipskier, Gasketball), and there’s a high degree of quality on display in every aspect of this game. The 16-bit style is beautiful, turning retro, Intellivision-inspired art into a kind of absurdest/cubist masterpiece, and providing an arcade-style score to match.
Gameplay has a direct and simple appeal that makes Ridiculous Fishing almost impossible to put down. You begin the game with 50 meters of line, a gun, and a basic lure. The action is entirely vertical, with your character sitting in a boat floating on a narrow patch of sea. Drop the lure into the water, and move the device side to side, dodging as many fish as you can to get the hook down as far as possible. If you hit a fish, that’s the end of your descent, and you star to reel in.
On the way up, you have the opposite goal, moving the device back and forth to hook as many fish as you can. Once at the surface, you fling these fish up and use your gun to shoot them for money. The variety of fish is quite large, with some only catchable at certain times of the day and certain depths.
The money allows you to buy larger reels (up to infinite depth) and more gear. There are elaborate weapons, ranging from shotguns to miniguns and orbital lasers. Lures get more complex, with attachments like a toaster and a hairdryer to electrocute fish (earning you a second chance to keep fishing), and a chainsaw lure to get even more fish on the way down. There are dozens of unlocks, including lights for deep sea activity, clothing, fuel, tech enhancements, and more. There are no in-app purchases, with everything bought by money that’s easily earned in-game.
This is great stuff: perhaps the single most readily and widely enjoyable app game of the year so far. At $3, it’s a must have.
As for the subtitle–”A Tale of Redemption”–I haven’t a clue. There’s something of a story told in via Twitter-style messages, but I was two busy blowing fish into a sticky red paste to really care.