It’s an easy refrain, but Ridiculous Fishing for iOS really is more fun than many other iOS games you’ll play this year. In development on and off for two years, the heavily pedigreed team includes the guys behind Super Crate Box, SpellTower, Hotline Miami and more.
The premise is fairly simple: you star as Billy, an up-and-coming fisherpixel with a few dollars to his name. Casting your initially-short line, you’re tasked with sinking as low as you can with the limited length of your fishing rod, avoiding all manner of swimming fauna. This is done by tilting your iPhone or iPad, a basic game mechanic employed by many other mobile games. Eventually, you’ll get ensnared in a sanguine poisson or two, and your cast will then rise to the top. In this second round, you’re tasked with catching as many fish as you can on the way back up. Once there, the third round involves shooting (with your finger) all manner of airborne fish. This nets you cash which you can use to upgrade equipment (from pistol to shotgun to uzi; from 100m line to 200m to 300m, etc.) and complete missions, opening up new waters, proverbial and literal, to explore.
The game is as beautiful as it is fun, drawing on the recent resurgence of pixel art for its canvas. Billy himself is a distinguished-looking old-timer, but the game’s artwork is far more complex and involved than its palette would initially suggest. Like Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery, Ridiculous Fishing engages its players by masking its violent proclivities in a cartoonish, almost surrealistic style.
One of the redeeming qualities of the game, though it offers in-game purchases, is that its initial $2.99 cost is all you’ll have to invest. The store is populated with new items based on how much cash you earn by shooting fish, not how much you give to the developers in microtransactions. It’s refreshing and relaxing, and certainly one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had on the iPhone and iPad in a long while.
Download Ridiculous Fishing for iOS.