Vlambeer may have just come out with the best fishing game of all time: Ridiculous Fishing (out now, $2.99), a title that has been scientifically infused with so much concentrated awesomeness that they surely must have recruited Chuck Norris to help design the thing. Ole Billy isn’t exactly your average everyday run-of-the-mill fisherman waiting in a boat just to maybe have a fish or two take a nibble, he is a far more proactive and resourceful type than that. He intends to get his lure as deep as possible – even if that might necessitate the use of a chain saw – and then catch every single fish in the water on his way back up, letting God sort everything out when he caps it off by flinging them up into the air and blowing them all away with an expansive arsenal of rockets and boomsticks.
As I previously stated, your initial goal in Ridiculous Fishing is to get Billy’s line to go as deep as it possibly can – as permitted by the length of his current reel – by avoiding every last fish possible on the way down. You accomplish this task by tilting your iOS device of choice left and right, and thankfully these control works incredibly responsively such that the lure will always go precisely where you tell it to. Once Billy has finally run out of line – or, if you weren’t so fortunate, had a fish bite the lure prematurely – it will be time to repeat the entire process in reverse, this time trying to snag every last critter possible on the way back to the boat.
This alone would already have made for a less than normal game of fishing, but – as I mentioned earlier – Billy doesn’t exactly use the baseball bat to the head method that most other professionals live by. Upon bringing his massive catch up into the air he will fling it skyward, after which you will begin furiously tapping the screen to pump every last member of his aquatic haul full of lead. Billy – as time goes on – can greatly expand his fish-whacking arsenal beyond the simple pistol that he starts out with, eventually collecting everything from blunderbusses to akimbo miniguns.
I don’t fully understand the mechanics of how it logically works out, but somehow Billy is able to sell his catch – despite the fact he just turned it all into a fine red mist blowing away with the breeze – for valuable cash. With this money in hand you are capable of buying all sorts of valuable gadgets, such as an upgrade to Billy’s lure that turns it into a deadly chainsaw capable of shredding its way through meat on the way down. Other upgrades include: better reels with more string, so that you can go deeper; a toaster, which you tie to the line so that the first fish to try and steal your lure gets electrocuted instead; and even a “double-inverse black hole” installed in the core of the planet itself, which somehow makes fish fall more slowly back to Earth after you fling them out of the water.
Even better, Ridiculous Fishing – eschewing not only all known logic for how physics are supposed to work, but also popular iOS market trends – is completely devoid of any kind of experience souring IAPs. As a result of this every upgrade is permanent, and the prices of equipment were not scientifically formulated to frustrate all but the most resilient into breaking down and opening up their wallet. Of course the flip side of this is that the game is neither free – nor ninety nine cents, for that matter – but lately I have seen far too many iOS titles in the upper price ranges be completely rife with IAP greed all the same.
With the help of those aforementioned implements you will try to get Billy’s lure all the way down to the bottom of each fishing hole where the legendary super fish are rumored to lie in wait, such as the Narwhal and Boss Squid (he prefers it you call him Employer Squid, though). Once a fish has been caught for the first time it will become available in the Fishopedia app on Billy’s cell phone, from there you can learn all sorts of various facts about the bizarre sea life that he catches (most of which take the form of references to internet memes). You can also gain access to Byrdr here, which keeps you in touch with the often hilarious twitter-esque conversations that Billy is apparently having with the various birds in the area (I never before realized that iPhones were so popular in the avian community).
The one souring moment to this entire package that I can think of is an idea that was probably meant to be interesting, but will probably just frustrate most people who either have jobs or classes to deal with. Ridiculous Fishing attempts to mix things up by challenging players to find certain elusive fish that only appear in each are around Midnight, a time that – as I just pointed out – is not exactly conducive to most people living under any sort of schedule. While this is a minor complaint against what is otherwise a top notch package filled to the brim with hilarious gameplay, it does unfortunately assure that most players will never be able to completely fill out every last entry in Billy’s Fishopedia app.
Never before have I ever seen quite so aptly named a game as this, for I don’t think you could make a more absurd fishing game even if one were to try with all their might. Between the tight controls, the complete lack of IAPs, the demented sense of humor in the Fishopedia and Byrdr updates, and the physics defying upgrades, this is the ultimate fishing title for both fishing enthusiasts and detractors alike. The only downside is that anyone living by a restrictive schedule will not be able to completely fill out all of the Fishopedia articles due to the midnight only catches, but the game is otherwise still a ridiculously fishy blast (blasted full of lead, that is) all the same.