If you're looking for a new app to fill your interstitial time, Ridiculous Fishing is almost impossible to put down.
There are some activities that you wouldn't think would make a fun game. Waiting for a bus in the rain. Painting a house. We would have added fishing to that list, but years of fishing in Japanese video games (and then World of Warcraft) has taught us that it can at least be, if not interesting, not entirely mind-numbing either.
Then along came Ridiculous Fishing — and it's about as far from standing by a virtual pond waiting for the controller to rumble as we can imagine.
It was born from a little Flash game called Radical Fishing by Vlambeer, who you might remember from Super Crate Box. Vlambeer teamed up with Zach Gage of Spelltower, Greg Wohlwend of Hundreds and composer Eirik Suhrke, who wrote the soundtrack for Hotline Miami to give the game spit and polish.
There are three parts to the gameplay. In the first part, you have to lower your line, tilting the device to dodge fish. When you hit a fish, your line starts to rise, so it benefits you to get really good at dodging — and naturally, the lower you get, the more valuable the fish become, as well as a lot thicker in the water.
Then you have to catch as many fish as possible on your way back up, tilting the device this time to hit them.
And once your fish have hit the surface, they are flung high into the air — and then you have to shoot them to haul them in, earning a pretty penny into the bargain.
These in-game dollars are then used to purchase upgrades for your fishing rig: longer lines so you can fish deeper; a chainsaw lure so you can carve fish up as you lower your line (as well as fuel packs to keep the chainsaw running longer); fancy clothes so that you earn more for your fish; gadgets to attach to your line; and better guns to make the end shoot-out a spectacularly explosive affair.
Meanwhile, you can unlock new areas on the map by catching a large variety of fish types. Also, other fisher-folk make fun of your achievements (and reveal the game's plot) by nattering away on "Byrdr", a Twitter parody.
The team has managed to nail the wacky premise that works just because it's so wacky, gameplay that never gets stale or feels hideously difficult, with constant feelings of achievement and gratification — and all without in-app payments.
It's tremendous, un-put-downable, non-stop fun.
Ridiculous Fishing for iOS (AU$2.99)