Version Reviewed: 1.0.6
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
I started playing Ace Fishing: Wild Catch with somewhat low expectations (as I am not exactly the fishing type), only because a friend recommended I try it – and that’s why it’s good to listen to your friends. The game quickly reeled in my interest after just a few minutes of playing.
The first and most noticeable qualities are the solid graphics and smooth animations. The water waves have clearly been a priority from the design perspective, because they are as realistic as they are mesmerizing. The fish too are realistically animated and have an aesthetically pleasing look.
Controls are also very easy to handle and get used to. Tap the center icon to cast the bait, hold to reel in the fish, release if the tension gets too high, etc. However, there’s a catch [Editor's Note: BADA-DUM-TSHHHH]: players will need to make sure they don’t apply too much pressure (or the string will break) while at the same time ensuring that the fish doesn’t get too far away or it will escape. That can become increasingly difficult when rare, more expensive fish take bait. To aid players in tackling such events, a combo system is in place: bringing the tension close to max and letting go right before the string is about to break will add to the combo meter. Managing to keep reeling in for 5 consecutive spins works, too. Once filled, players can swipe to pull the fish closer by a large distance.
While real fishing consists of much waiting and patience, Ace Fishing is all about the actual catch – no searching for locations more likely to be filled with fish or anything like that. Leveling-up will unlock access to new locations where better fish can be found. Upgrading one’s equipment and buying better bait will also help increase the chances of finding rare fish.
There’s a huge variety of realistically animated fish to discover, as well as different types of equipment that can be bought. Once a fish is caught, it can be sold right away or stored in a tank to be sold at a higher value, once fully grown. Frequent events are also available, allowing players to compete for greater gear and packs of bucks which would otherwise have to be purchased via in-app purchases.
Since Ace Fishing is a freemium game, it’s bound to have a couple of downsides. A lot of the items that are purchased have a “durability” limit, which will need to be refilled. There’s also a limit to the player’s energy. However, that limit is set to 15 games and the bar gets refilled upon leveling up. Going through the first 6 levels, I haven’t once run out of energy – so it’s much better balanced than many other freemium titles out there.
In the end, Ace Fishing: Wild Catch is a fun, fast-paced fishing experience that scores highly on all fronts – and it’s free!