Dynamite Fishing
| Dynamite Fishing

The noble art of fishing hardly makes for the most natural of subjects for a mobile phone game. Some would argue that it hardly makes for much of a pastime at all, but you won't find us at Pocket Gamer saying such a thing. Well, some of us at least. The idea of spending a whole day doing very little indeed and still calling it sport very much appeals.

When it comes to our mobile games, however, we demand a little more action; something a tad more explosive.

And so HandyGames brings us Dynamite Fishing, a truly combustible take on the somewhat sleepy hobby. In place of a rod and tackle, you're asked to load up on as much explosive ordinance as you can fit onto your boat and set off to wreak havoc on fish-kind.

The fishing itself is viewed side on, as our red-necked protagonist scoots left to right in pursuit of his haul. A swift press of the thumbstick dispatches a stick of dynamite into the water immediately in front of him, whilst a longer hold of the button lengthens the throw accordingly. Contact with an object (be it gilled or otherwise) will detonate the charge, sending the spoils (or remains) towards the surface for you to scoop up.

The view affords you a clear look of the goings-on underwater, so you can carefully time your toss to coincide with the arrival of that school of tuna, or to prise open that bottom-dwelling treasure chest.

It's a pretty basic premise, enhanced immeasurably by the hand-drawn cartoon-like graphics and a cheeky sense of humour. Neither element is particularly memorable, but its bold and brash style suits it down to a tee. A little extra depth is added by the intervention of pesky catch-pinching birds that trouble the space above your head from time to time. You deal with these by means of the '1' and '3' keys, both of which bring up a shifting crosshair that needs to be lined up with your feathered target before releasing to make the shot.

In a further attempt to bulk the game out somewhat, HandyGames has incorporated a limited customization element in between bouts of piscicide. A cast of unlikely characters will offer to sell you specialist explosive gear and the means to upgrade your little boat. While fun to start with, such variations really don't add much to the core experience, and as such feel like gimmicks rather than essential features.

Indeed, everything from the brash humour, the zany armoury and the nonsensical story seems geared to distract you from one simple fact – there's not much to it all. From the off it reminded us of the sort of flash game you'd play on your computer (for free) during an idle three minutes at work. You know the sort: blast as many turkeys as you can (they always crop up around Christmas), shoot as many sheep as possible, etc. All have plenty of novelty value and will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face. But would you pay money for them, or return to them repeatedly? We suspect not.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with such games, and it could be argued that the mobile platform is the perfect place for such instantly gratifying, throwaway experiences. But we demand a little more from our mobile games, and the simple fact is that Dynamite Fishing isn't quite as fun or as addictive as it thinks it is. As such, we'd recommend that you think hard before deciding to take the bait.

Dynamite Fishing

Like the titular dynamite, this makes a terrific bang initially but soon fizzles out