Previews

Hands on with Bass Fishing Mania on mobile

Ready to catch a five pounder?

Hands on with Bass Fishing Mania on mobile
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| Bass Fishing Mania

Video games are often criticised for long loading times. It breaks the flow, say harsh reviewers, to have to sit and wait when they'd rather be shooting foreign military personnel in the eyes or attempting to buy potion from crones.

Given that the average day's fishing is basically a very long loading time, it never ceases to surprise me that video game versions of the sport are so consistently decent.

In the foamy wake of Nokia's excellent N-Gage title Creatures of the Deep, sports game publisher Player One is set to release Bass Fishing Mania, a game based loosely on the televised and hugely popular Bassmaster Classic tournament, held every year in Nevada.

The object is to sail around a lake on a powerboat, catching fish as large as you can before weighing-in at the end of the day to see who's caught the biggest. After three days, a winner is declared.

As you accrue cash you can buy new equipment from the shop, endearingly manned by Billy-Bob, a moustachioed rube who delights in giving you words of dubious wisdom like, "My dad used to say a bad day's fishin' is better than a good day's work."

Through this amiable vendor you can buy and sell different lures, rods, gloves, a fishing manual, and even a radar, to give you the unsporting advantage of knowing where the fish are hiding by means of high technology rather than experience and talent. Each visit costs you a little bit of your precious time, though, as does flitting between the four locations, so you need to manage your resources well.

Like Ronnie O'Sullivan's Snooker 2008 and Table Tennis Star, Bass Fishing Mania uses a combination of pre-rendered and real-time graphics to astonishingly good effect. The water shimmers, the backdrops are beautiful, and the line trails left and right with a real sense of weight.

The fishing itself involves hovering the lure above the gliding silhouette of a fish and waiting for your phone to vibrate, signalling a bite. Then, you have to follow a sequence of arrows whilst raising and lowering the rod to keep the fish from wriggling free of the hook. I'm no fisherman, but the process felt convincing enough to me.

Of course, I only played it for a few minutes, and fishing is a process that takes several hours to appreciate. Still, Bass Fishing Mania appears to have the polish and flair of Shadow Light's other titles, and we've no reason to be anything other than optimistic.

The game's due out at the beginning of May. Click 'Track it!' to get word of our review when it lands.