I’ll start by saying I’m no Fisherman! I haven’t cast a rod in over 20 years, However, I do love my simulation games and the idea of sitting down to an afternoon of fishing with a few beers sounded great. Will I net a Big Catch? Or Just drown some worms? Let’s see…
Fishing Sim World launched in September of 2018, Developed and published by Dovetail Games and has seen multiple updates, extra lakes and DLC packs. The latest update Pro Tour came out on 18th July introducing a new career mode featuring 100 of the worlds best anglers and a sponsorship system with 50 licensed fishing tackle companies and social media following earning you increasing money and fame!
As I said I’m not an experienced fisher so a lot of the equipment, baits etc seemed very foreign to me, my first initial complaint is with the tutorial system, some people prefer to dive headfirst into a game, others like their handheld till they’re more familiar with a game, the in-game tutorial system comes in the form of a series of videos, I much prefer a more interactive form of tutorial so I can learn while be guided, I also found that the videos didn’t always cover what I wanted to know.
Playing the career mode I found difficult, whether it was a case of inexperience or bad luck I’m not sure, but not once in the 5 tournaments I took place in did I actually catch anything, all of the other AI anglers had caught fish after a matter of 10 seconds, but after 20 minutes not a thing.
There is an online tournament mode, which you can customise, set the length of the tournament, how the tournament will be scored, what species will count etc. You can even take place in the Dovetail League featuring weekly tournaments and global leaderboards. Personally I much preferred the casual play style of free play fishing.
The actual mechanic of casting and reeling in fish I enjoyed. I stuck with basic casting which consisted of aiming, Then holding down the left mouse button to control the power of your cast, then waiting for a bite.
Once you hooked a fish, it was a “simple” case of timing your strike with the right mouse button, the accuracy and timing of your strike impacted your chances of successfully reeling in your hooked fish, a poor strike often resulted in the hook coming loose, while reeling in your hooked fish you would need to tire the fish out by pulling back on the rod whilst adjusting the drag on the line.
Depending on the size and species of fish this sometimes lasted anywhere from a minute to almost ten minutes of raising and lower the rod, adjusting the drag on the line, till eventually the fish tired.
The controlling of the rod with the mouse to me, meant that after a long battle it felt all the more satisfying when I finally reeled in a big catch.
The graphics for a simulation to me look good, the environment feels real, the water looks like water with ripples and splashes as the fish come up to the surface and jump out of the water whilst your reeling them in. Then, of course, the fish, I’m no expert when it comes to identifying species of fish, but again, they look real enough to me. The game features dynamic and custom set weather settings, I was yet to experiences a change in weather on dynamic myself. A nice feature would be to adjust the time of day, once at the lake, not just when picking the lake at the start of your game.
Audio for me can make or break a game, The music is your standard simulation-style menu music. Once out on the lake, the sound is immersive, for the most part, it’s quiet, with just the sound of water rolling, birds tweeting and the occasional commercial jetliner flying overhead. No complaints here.
The longevity of the game I would say would come down to your interest level in fishing, If you are a keen angler looking for a digital fix, then you may find more long term enjoyment in the game than your average gamer, However, you may spot more flaws in the mechanics of the game than the average gamer such as myself would see.
The game continues to see regular updates and fixes and will no doubt see more paid DLC’s become available over time adding more longevity to the game.
To conclude personally I enjoyed the game, although not so much the competitive side, I can see myself returning for a relaxing fish on a rainy afternoon I feel Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour deserves the Thumb Culture Silver Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.