Game Reviews

Fishing Kings

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| Fishing Kings
Fishing Kings
| Fishing Kings

There’s a fine line between the act of fishing and simply standing around on the bank of a river looking bored, but there’s something about this most ancient of pastimes which calls out to the male soul.

Gameloft’s latest iPhone outing attempts to capture the essence of this ancient struggle with nature, although instead of featuring the usual dreary ponds fishermen are used to, Fishing Kings sees you casting your line in exotic locations such as the Amazon, the Bahamas, and Hawaii.

The objective of the game surely needs no explanation: you’re tasked with ensnaring as many fish as possible with a special emphasis on the larger specimens.

A nice sturdy rod

Fishing Kings makes good use of the touchscreen and accelerometer for an intuitive control system. Casting is performed by tilting the device towards you and then quickly flicking it in the opposite direction.

Once your lure is in the water you sit and wait for a fish to take notice. When you have a bite, the battle really begins. After successfully hooking your prey, the accelerometer comes back into action.

Keen to resist becoming your lunch, the fish will thrash around with the intention of breaking your line. To counteract this you have to tilt your handset in the same direction the fish is moving, which naturally reduces the tension on your line and prevents it from snapping.

Casting a spell

Keeping your line intact is obviously important, but it’s not going to get the fish into your bucket. While keeping a keen eye on the tension gauge, you also have to use the on-screen reel control to slowly bring the fish closer to your boat. Again, a delicate touch is required as reeling too quickly will put additional pressure on your already strained line.

Once the fish is close enough, you're required to make one final flick of your device to pull it out of the water.

The control system is surprisingly well thought out, although the absence of a truly comprehensive tutorial mode does mean you have to learn the complexities yourself. Thankfully there’s a crusty fishing veteran on hand to provide encouragement and various nuggets of wisdom as you go about your business.

Landing a catch is more than just about technique, though. You also need to make sure you’re using the right lure. Additional lures are unlocked as you complete various missions sent to your PDA, which sits in the top-right corner. Participating in these challenges grants access to other locations.

Quite a catch

With several different breeds of fish to discover, 15 different locations, and a whole host of lures to unlock, there’s plenty of long-term value. Marry this in-depth gameplay with an above-average presentation and you’ve got a title which is bound to dig its hooks deep into any self-respecting pocket gamer.

It’s a shame that some kind of multiplayer mode wasn’t included, though Fishing Kings does at least connect to Gameloft Live for trophies and such.

Once you’ve completed all of the available assignments you may struggle to find adequate reason to return, but until that point Fishing Kings proves to be a engaging fishing excursion.

Fishing Kings

Even if fishing holds no appeal to you, this digital representation is eminently playable and should keep you hooked for quite some time