Off the Hook Fishing 2

Don't tell my Pocket Gamer overlords, but instead of swiftly reviewing Digital Chocolate's latest fishing sim – a game based on an activity that, let's not forget, primarily involves sitting around on your bottom all day – I decided to sit on my bottom all day and play it.

For anyone who struggles to catch fish in real life, Off the Hook Fishing 2 is the perfect antidote. Rather than testing your patience by making you wait vital minutes for your first catch, the game serves up a pool filled with a veritable farm of fish in which to dip your stick.

The weighting game

Whether you take it on in Championship mode – which sees you challenging rival fishermen in catch weight tournaments – or in Quick Play, where the clock is your only enemy, the routine is the same: cast your line from the boat, and haul in whatever tugs on the end.

Both actions are handled with the '5' key. Casting your line comes down to a power gauge – the longer you hold it down, the farther it goes.

As your line then drifts through the water, your next job is to slowly but steadily tap the '5' key when one of the slippery blighters bites. Press it too quickly and the line will begin to turn red, before finally snapping when the tension gets too high.

Success in Off the Hook Fishing 2 is, of course, all about the weight of your collective catch. As a result, the biggest fish are the hardest to snag, located as they are in the deepest pools, farthest away from your boat.

This is where an element of patience finally does come into play. Reaching the big boys with your rod is only possible through upgrading your equipment.

Doing so relies on you winning a tournament or two. Fail to do so and you're essentially stuck in no man's land.

Fish out of water

But, even if taking home a crown or two isn't out of the question, there are still one or two areas where Off the Hook Fishing 2 lets itself down.

One is the fact that what's on offer here is, by and large, an exact replica of the original title, released less than two years ago.

Secondly – and somewhat more frustratingly – there appears to be no way of drawing your line back in at pace should your cast off prove a fruitless one.

Despite there being fish aplenty beneath your boat, it's perfectly possible – and entirely probable at some point in each contest – that you'll miss all of them.

When this happens, tapping the '5' key is the only way to drag the line back in, but it does it at such a snail's pace, that the match is effectively thrown as a result.

It's a baffling fault given that, when all goes swimmingly, Off the Hook Fishing 2 is full of tight tussles that truly manage to engage.

Still, given that this is essentially a re-run – warts and all – of a package we've seen before, Off the Hook Fishing 2 suggests it's not safe to get back in the water just yet.

Off the Hook Fishing 2

Offering up largely the same set up as its predecessors, Off the Hook Fishing 2 is just as engrossing, but only when the game isn't busy throwing a spanner into the works
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.