A while ago, I wrote an article about the five best fishing games on the Xbox – having taken in pretty much every fishing title available, I was pretty well-placed. What we have here is another fishing game to cast our beady eyes over, and at stake is a place in that hallowed top five!
Coming from the same developer as Ultimate Fishing Simulator which rocked up a few months back – spoiler alert: it was neither Ultimate nor a simulator – Fishing Adventure promises to take us to exciting and exotic locations; places like Canada and Poland, all in order to dangle a line in the water to our heart’s content. So, grab your waders, get a firm grip on your rod, because we’re going deep into Fishing Adventure on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
So what’s on offer? Well, what’s not on offer, in any way, shape or form, is any kind of a tutorial. You see, in Fishing Adventure you choose the location that you want to visit (initially from a selection of one, it’s Poland or nothing), you walk to the edge of the water, hold X to cast and that’s it. You’re on your own. Want extra bait or different gear? Well, you can have it, but not while your line is cast in the water, strangely. And only if you have managed to earn enough money as well.
Yep, the great mechanic that has managed to worm its way in from Ultimate Fishing Simulator is alive and well here as every fish you catch sees you offered with a choice: sell the fish for extra currency, or release the fish for an XP boost. The most I have sold a fish for in Fishing Adventure is 22 coins, and with licences for new lakes going for upward of 4000 coins, you can see the grind is most definitely real. In fact, the same dilemma is in place for the levelling system as well – to go from, say, level 7 to get to level 8 (where you’ll need to be to buy a certain type of bait) is 19,200 XP. Releasing a fish nets you around 100-200 XP, but less money. And so sits the choice on where you want to get to.
In this way, Fishing Adventure falls into the same trap as its predecessor. The amount of money received for each fish capture, and the amount of XP received for each release, soon ushers forth a feeling of “why bother”. And as such, it’s hard to find the will to carry on for hours on end with what Fishing Adventure has to offer. And this is a shame, as the fishing action is much more leisurely this time around, making it a fairly pleasant way to while away a few hours. Just rocking up to the edge of the water, slinging in a float or an artificial lure and waiting for some fish to bite is fairly relaxing; a stress free way to spend a few minutes. It doesn’t beat sitting out in the fresh air, of course, but neither is my living room full of mosquitoes. Swings and roundabouts…
This time around however there is a bit of innovation, at least, in the shape of fishing quests. There are five quests for each location present in the game, so 35 in all, and they charge you with catching a certain species, weight, or number of fish – or all three – in a set period of time. For instance, one of the quests in Germany is to catch a handful of Mirror Carp, with a total weight of 22lbs in weight. Now, the Mirror Carp in Germany seem to be the smallest in the world and never mind what they say on Monster Carp, in Fishing Adventure the average weight is about 2lb. As you can imagine, it takes a fair few to reach the target weight; something which is tricky when you have a time limit. At least, it would be if it wasn’t for a neat little feature that removes any fear of failure. As the time counts down and gets close to expiring, you can buy an extra 10 minutes of fishing time for 100 coins. And you can do this again, and again, and again until you have met the criteria of the challenge. Jeopardy successfully removed!
Further to that, as you are busy fishing away trying to catch this one fish species (because of course there’s no way in the game to specify what you want to catch) then you also keep earning coins and XP towards your next level or destination. A nice touch, however, is that if you finish all the quests for a certain location, you receive a free licence for the next location, something which saves a lot of cash. Of course, you are still left with the problem that you have to be a certain level to gain access to each new location, and again that grind comes into play.
Away from the gameplay mechanics and there are a lot of strange things going on visually with Fishing Adventure; stuff that makes no sense as a real life angler. The rod will quite often get some tension on it (looking at the tension bar in the bottom left of the screen), with it visibly bending, but the float that is in the water stays still. This doesn’t happen in real life! However, at least this time around the casting is true to life, with realistic bail arm movements and even another hand hitting the reel handle when it’s time to reel in.
Actually fighting the fish is still as damp a squib as ever, sadly, with you just needing to hold down the wind button (RT) and use the shoulder buttons to increase and decrease the drag to keep the tension gauge out of the red zone. That’s pretty much it with Fishing Adventure – there is no side strain, no need to move the rod at all. Just wind. I even tested it by casting and then turning to face away from the water and happily landed fish with no problems. That’s not awfully realistic, I think you’ll agree. While I’m complaining, wandering up to a lake and casting in a single grain of corn or a piece of dough doesn’t work as a tactic for catching fish in the real world, and it shouldn’t work here. Dovetail Games’ The Catch: Carp and Coarse allows you to feed the swim in order to increase your catches, and it feels a lot closer to what actually happens down by the lake in real life.
In conclusion and Fishing Adventure is very much on the arcade end of the fishing game spectrum. It looks okay, the fish come across as just about alright (although whoever decided that a 3lb Roach, the fish of a lifetime for many anglers, should be held up with a pair of pliers attached to its face should be ashamed of themselves) and the gameplay is relaxing. The grind is far too real though and whilst the quests are a nice touch, they never have that feeling of jeopardy that you’d want them to be associated with.
All in all, Fishing Adventure is very firmly a middle of the road anglers’ game.
Take in the Fishing Adventure of a lifetime on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One