There are already a good few fishing games available on console and PC, however the vast majority of the very best come from those at Dovetail Games. After previously having gathered huge interest from the angling fraternity with the release of Dovetail Games’ Euro Fishing, and then rocking up with the nearly as good Fishing Sim World, hopes are extremely high for their next title – The Catch: Carp & Coarse on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. We have recently been given the opportunity to check out the game in a hands-off presentation, and so we took that time to quiz the brand manager at Dovetail – Darren Nokes – in order to find out more.
Hi. Please introduce yourself – what is your role at Dovetail Games and in the development of The Catch: Carp & Coarse?
Hi! My name is Darren Nokes and I am the brand manager for the fishing franchise at Dovetail Games, including The Catch: Carp & Coarse
So sell it to us, why should gamers be interested in The Catch: Carp & Coarse on Xbox One, PS4 and PC?
The Catch: Carp & Coarse is all about the battle of angler vs fish. Not only are there 35 different species of fish that all have their own behaviours, ideal locations within venues to spend time and bait preferences, but there are also 125 different boss fish for you to locate and then successfully land. This is an authentic fishing title for angling fans but the hunt and strategy involved to be successful should also appeal to the broader gamer.
Being given the chance to fish various venues is a huge deal in fishing circles, but how did you confirm the five you have included. And further to that, how does Pearl Lake in Malaysia fit with the other European venues?
We wanted as much variety as possible to not only be able to include all of the species of fish that we have created but also to offer 5 unique venues that all have a very different feel and require a different approach. The beauty of our Malaysian venue is that it contains some amazing exotic species such as arapaima and pacu that aren’t found in European venues, but European anglers want to travel to, to experience fishing for.
And which of the venues do you feel are the most exciting to fish?
Each venue is truly different and all have their own unique appeal. As a carp angler myself and a regular visitor to the venue in reality, I am a big fan of Oxlease on the Linear venue. We have recreated it in incredible detail and I enjoy fishing pegs that I have fished at the actual venue – I’m definitely more successful in game! As a unique venue, my favourite is Rotterdam. I love the idea of being in an urban location, fishing in an environment that is so unlike the norm and catching fish that you really don’t feel should be there!
Sticking to the venues theme, are we likely to see further lakes and rivers arriving post-launch?
Yes – there will be an additional venue and equipment pack arriving post launch. We’ll be giving a lot more detail on this nearer the time!
How many different types of fish are included in The Catch, and are there any you are really pleased to have been able to include?
There are 35 different species of fish included in The Catch and there are 12 new species for us. I love all of them, but I’m really pleased that we have gone to the level of detail of adding species that are unique to a location that we have made. For example, carp are in a lot of our venues but we have added ide and asp that are only applicable to Rotterdam. We’ve also added eels this time around.
And again, are we likely to see any additional fish arrive later down the line?
No, at this stage, although there will be additional equipment and an additional venue, there won’t be any additional species of fish. However, the venue will have more boss fish to try to find and catch!
125 boss fish sounds like a huge amount to catch. How much time do you envision a regular gamer will spend in order to catch ‘em all? I remember landing a huge boss Catfish in Euro Fishing that took around 20 minutes to drag out – Are we looking at similar timescales for the boss fish here?
A regular gamer should find 100’s of hours of gameplay to sink their teeth into! There’s plenty to do – 125 boss fish to find and catch, 35 different species and all spread across 5 great venues. As well as that, there is a mastery system with a series of challenges for you to try to complete, multiplayer and single player tournaments. The fish have got even bigger since Euro Fishing and Pearl Lake contains arapaima over 450lbs! You can expect a huge challenge and a good 20-minute struggle to successfully land it.
I was interested to hear about the array of offline content, can you tell us more about the tournaments we can enter offline?
Events are our offline tournaments that let you test your skills against AI opponents. There are 30 events in total with each of the 5 lakes having a set of 6 tournaments for you to complete covering a range of disciplines and styles.
- Float – Fishing with a float only, catch the highest total weight possible in the time limit
- Predator – Catch the highest total length of predatory fish in the time limit
- Carp – Catch the highest total weight of carp possible in the time limit
- Grand Slam – Target the three qualifying species and catch the highest combined total weight of them
- Species Hunter – Catch one of each of the qualifying species in the fastest time possible
- Elimination – The angler with the highest total weight when time runs out wins. Anglers at the bottom of the leaderboard will be removed at regular intervals
While on the question of content, could you go into a little more detail in regards to the leaderboards that you plan to introduce? Basically, how do we go about becoming the Champion of The Catch?
Single player tournaments give you the opportunity to fish against real world anglers through a constantly updating leaderboard. Although it’s a single player experience in terms of the fact that you are on the lake on your own, there’s no doubt there is a real buzz from beating some of your angling heroes that feature on our leaderboards. This also feeds into our Dovetail Fishing League in which points are awarded at the end of each week’s tournaments depending on your placing. At the end of the month, we have anglers of the month for the different styles of tournaments as well as an overall winner and celebrate those winners across our social media!
Your previous game, Fishing Sim World, had the iconic Ali Hamidi fronting it. With The Catch promising many licenses and a number of real-world angling stars, can you give any hints as to who is onboard this time around?
There are a whole host of new anglers for you to take on in the above-mentioned single player tournaments – we’ll give you a full run down soon but we’re proud that this time round we feature more anglers from outside of the UK. We have anglers from Germany, Holland, Sweden and Slovenia! I’ll give one away, we did a ‘get to know’ article recently with Marc Voosen who is the area brand manager of Nash Tackle in Germany and Austria as well as a fantastic angler.
Could you divulge any further information on the other licenses included? What rod types, clothing options, boats and bait will we have access to?
The game is still fully licensed which is really important for us and there are brand new partners this time round including the likes of Nash and Dynamite Baits. In fact, we have new partners that cover all aspects of the fishing in terms of rods, reels, baits, lures, rigs and clothing!
Previous favourites such as RidgeMonkey and Mainline Baits are back with up to date equipment and there are hundreds of items of equipment to choose from and thousands of combinations to try out.
It’s quite obvious that angling fans will be instantly attracted to The Catch, but how do you plan to ensure those not quite so familiar with the scene still find enjoyment?
There’s two ways that we are looking to do this. Firstly, in the whole way that the game has been designed, it should appeal to you if you aren’t an angler in real life. The game is about strategy – finding out where the fish are and then working out all the different factors such as time of day, weather conditions, correct equipment needed to attract the fish. Whilst you are waiting for the fish to bite, you can really take in and appreciate the stunning scenery and relaxing audio of water lapping against the bankside and birdsong. It really is lovely after a stressful day or an intense session in an fps for example! However, when that alarm sounds, the adrenaline kicks in!
Secondly, the game aims to be authentic so although the gamer will appreciate the strategy involved, we need to ensure they understand the different factors at play to help them choose the right equipment, position in the venue. We set you up with ‘default’ tackleboxes that will get you catching straight away but to progress further, expect plenty of super useful in-game tutorials that you can watch whilst in a session. There will also be some cool ‘real world’ tips from a selection of the pro’s that feature in the game, that will appear across our social media from launch.
And finally, if you had to give one top The Catch tip to veteran anglers, and another to those who have never picked up a rod before, what would they be?
For the veteran angler I’d say that this game will cover one of your favourite set ups in terms of the rigs and baits that you are used to using – apply the same principles that you do in your own fishing and you won’t go far wrong. If you are new to the sport and using this game to help you learn, firstly that is brilliant and we want this to encourage you to take up the sport in real life! Choose a venue to get used to, watch the tutorials and master the default equipment – by then, you will be working out that some spots are more productive than others and you’ll be on your way!
Huge thanks go out to Darren and those at Dovetail Games for not only spending the time to answer our questions, but also for allowing us the opportunity to take in a hands-off presentation of the game. We can’t wait to check out The Catch: Carp & Coarse on Xbox One come the end of June. Keep an eye out for our full review nearer the time. If you want to know more, make sure you are following Dovetail over on Twitter.