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Ridiculous Fishing for iOS lives up to its name, but in a good way

Cassandra Khaw | March 27, 2013
Ridiculous Fishing, a $3 universal app for iOS, is the story of a fisherman who is uniquely committed to piscine genocide: he riddles his catches with bullet holes. Featuring different gameplay motions--you toss the line, reel in the lure, and then shoot your haul, all within a single round--Ridiculous Fishing is fun without being too repetitive. Paired with a premise that's just, well, ridiculous, it's not hard to see why the app is rapidly gaining App Store popularity.

Ridiculous Fishing, a $3 universal app for iOS, is the story of a fisherman who is uniquely committed to piscine genocide: he riddles his catches with bullet holes. Featuring different gameplay motions--you toss the line, reel in the lure, and then shoot your haul, all within a single round--Ridiculous Fishing is fun without being too repetitive. Paired with a premise that's just, well, ridiculous, it's not hard to see why the app is rapidly gaining App Store popularity.

This mobile masterpiece is a reboot of Radical Fishing, an online Flash-based game also designed by indie gaming studio Vlambeer. According to Rami Ismail, Vlambeer's business and development lead, both games were inspired by actual, real-life tuna fish coursing languidly through the sky.

"[It's] based on a documentary about tuna fishing and this really amazing slow-motion shot," Ismail recalls during an interview with TechHive. "The fishermen hadn't caught anything for days when suddenly they hit this giant flock of tuna, and there was this slow-motion shot of all that tuna being flung through the air."

At its core, Ridiculous Fishing is a cyclic endeavor focused on efficiency. You play the role of the fisherman, and you start by dropping your fishing line into the colorful, 8-bit water. The idea here is to go as deep as your line permits you, something that can only be accomplished by deftly avoiding the ocean's underwater creatures. (One of the game's power-ups is a battery-powered chainsaw that cuts through any fish in its path on the way down, but we'll get to that later.) Your line automatically reels back up once it reaches its end length, or if it catches a fish on its way down.

Once your line is ensnared, the game shifts focus again: it becomes an attempt to snag as many fish as you can on the way up. When your line is reeled in, your fish bounty is hurled up into the air, and you have to shoot each and every one of your acquisitions by tapping on them. Each kill earns you cash,which is used to buy additional equipment and upgrades at the shop that help prepare you before you return to the briny deeps. Some species are worth more than others, and you can only move on to the next level when you catch a certain number of species.

The variety of gameplay is what Ismail likes most about Ridiculous Fishing. "It always gives you the sense that you're doing something useful, that your time is not being wasted," he explains. "Even if you're having a terrible run, you're still doing something useful, and you're getting money and finding new species."

 

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