Review: Big Fishing (iPhone)

4 mins read

Fishing games are a deeply underrated experience. They’re hugely relaxing and a great way to wind down after a busy day’s work, and the console or PC is much easier to get to than a real lake or river. With that in mind, Big Fishing is not actually relaxing. It’s a far more arcade experience, and while it’s quite good at the core, a poor presentation makes it far less accessible than it should be.

So, real fishing will always be better than video games, but is Big Fishing a good alternative?

Catching a fish with this game is actually quite hard work, and while it’s an intuitive system, it’s difficult to explain. Essentially both your avatar, and the fish you’re trying to catch, have stamina bars. As you reel the little biter in, he’ll struggle. You’ll need to pay attention to your own stamina bar, as well as the tightness of the line, and the direction the fish is swimming in to slowly deplete its stamina. Get it low enough and you can pull it in finally.

It’s a system that becomes quite intuitive after a few attempts, and the virtual buttons for controlling all of this are well placed on the screen and easy to manage.

There are plenty of potential fishing locations to explore. They’re not hugely different from one another, but it’s a nice touch

By fishing well, you earn points and cash in various competitions around the world. Points for upgrading equipment and skills, cash for buying better quality bait. This allows you to catch a greater variety of fish, which then pop up in the virtual aquarium for you to enjoy at your leisure.

So there’s quite a bit to this game, and fisher fans on the go will find a great deal to like in the core gameplay. What holds Big Fishing back is the aesthetics and presentation. The translation into English is absolutely terrible – to the point of being incomprehensible. Given that the start of the game involves an extensive tutorial, it’s a sour note to kick off with that really hurts the first impressions.


There’s also the issue that the fish you’re catching have two or three frames of animation. The fish are meant to be the focal point of a fishing game, after all, but here I never felt the desire to head into the aquarium.

I still enjoyed Big Fishing, once I struggled through the tutorial. It’s has reasonable length, and the arcade-style gameplay is addictive once you get a hang of the controls. If you are into fishing, then by all means give this a go – it’ll tide you over while the weekend and real lakes await.

I prefer fishing in the evening, too.

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