Developer: Vlambeer
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Controls Rating: ★★★★★
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Ridiculous Fishing from Vlambeer, Zach Gage, and Greg Wohlwend as well has been on a long, strange journey to the App Store, with one major pratfall in particular: Gamenauts’ 2011 title Ninja Fishing, which Vlambeer describes as an outright clone of their original Radical Fishing Flash game. Being cloned it distressed Vlambeer enough that the studio considered shutting down at one point. However, a year and a half later, the studio’s own version is finally out, and it was worth the wait.

Ridiculous Fishing takes place in three different gameplay segments. First, there’s the descent of the lure in to the water, where the goal is to avoid the fish for as long as possible, lest one get hooked. Then, once the player hooks a fish or reaches the bottom, the ascent begins, and the player tries to catch all the fish they can. Finally, once the lure reaches the top, the fish are launched into the air and the ridiculous half of the Ridiculous Fishing title is engaged: the shooting of the fish out of the air with high-powered weaponry to earn money. However, don’t shoot the jellyfish, as they will cost money if they are hit. Ridiculous Fishing will cause widespread hatred of jellyfish.

There are three finite levels, and an endless level, The Maelstrom, that must be unlocked in order to register on the Game Center leaderboards. However, don’t disregard the earlier levels entirely: there’s still secrets to discover in each one after the bottom is reached.

Ridiculous Fishing would be very easy to load up with IAP thanks to its currency system and upgrades – which is exactly what Gamenauts did – but Ridiculous Fishing has no IAP at all. They’re not necessary, either; there’s an actual progression curve with the unlocks, and even the most expensive items can be earned through regular play. Many upgrades are solely positive, but things like expensive weapons actually come down to a matter of personal preference.

The fun of Ridiculous Fishing comes from its multifaceted nature. The fish that were once dodged with great fervor are treated entirely differently while ascending, and then the shooting requires a totally different approach. The jellyfish are annoying but they keep the shooting from being pray and spray. It’s never not fun to shoot fish that are launched way up into space near the moon, too. The art style looks amazing, especially on Retina devices. The controls, with tilting to move the lure on descent/ascent, and tapping on the screen to activate the drill and shoot in the air, work perfectly. There’s plenty of replay value from discovering all the fish in the game , and in replaying The Maelstrom to reach new depths and to finally get all the shop items, which is actually doable, and well worth it.

Ridiculous Fishing has been a long time coming, but this is a trophy bass of a game.

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