Flick Fishing is nothing like the real thing, and thankfully so. No fussing with tangled tackle, no long waits to get a nibble on your line, and it's not necessary to gut your catch. After all, we've done it for you - Freeverse reels in another bold iPhone app that masterfully pairs quick burst of action and beautiful graphics.
What truly makes the game enjoyable, though, is the intuitive controls. Casting a line is as simple as flicking the device forward. When a fish bites, the line shakes to let you know it's time to reel in. Clockwise circles on the reel bring in the line to catch the fish. The controls are straightforward and immediately you're able to understand the basics.
Reeling in fish does take more than tracing circles on the screen. When a fish bites, two gauges pop up at the top of the screen: one showing the line's tension and below that the fish's strength. As you reel in, you have to keep an eye on the tension to prevent it from snapping. Over time, the fish's strength diminishes, making it easier to reel it in with less strain on the line.
Thankfully, there's never a long wait for a fish to bite. There is, however, a long list of fish to catch across half a dozen different locations including red snapper, bass, catfish, and swordfish. Changing your lure or adding bait from your tackle box allows you to attract specific types of fish, although you're always able to catch something.
Every location, fish, lure, and bait is available to you the moment you jump into the game's main fishing mode. You're free to fish at your leisure, your best catches stored in the game's photo album. It's disappointing the game doesn't offer some form of campaign or career, opting instead to open everything up from the start. A system for unlocking new venues or bait could have added a sense of direction to the single player game. The only thing you can earn are trophies tied to tournaments at each location.
Big Catch tournaments crown the fisher who reels in the most fish by weight, whereas Big Fish competitions are determined by whoever catches the single largest fish. Both can be played against the computer, with a friend on the same handset, or via local wi-fi. No online support, although hot-seat multiplayer and the local option are more than enough to satisfy that competitive spirit.
Multiplayer gets a boost from email challenges that can be sent to anyone listed in your contacts folder. Heading over to the in-game photo album that stores records of your biggest fish caught allows you to to send a challenge. You simply tap on the fish you want to brag about and then grab a name from your contacts database. It's a small feature, but it does encourage jockeying between friends for bigger, better catches.
The graphics, of course, are top notch. Travelling to each location showcases a nice range of environments from stormy seas with rainy special effects to tranquil ponds marked by small touches. That attention to detail runs through the entire game, from the fine-tuned controls to the inclusion of email challenges. It all comes together for a fun, fast distraction - nothing at all like the real thing.