Every day in the United Kingdom, we spend approximately 2.5 million pounds on coffee. I, like many others, think nothing of walking into a high street coffee shop and spending three pound on my Massimo, Double Shot, Skinny Gingerbread Latte; so why do people baulk at the idea of paying that for a mobile game? I’m Professor Kelvin Harris, Codec Moments’ resident scientist. I am on a mission to document interesting games that cost less than your cappuccino, which might entertain you at home, on your way to work, or even during your coffee break. This week’s game to be had for the ‘Cost of a Coffee’ is Ridiculous Fishing by Vlambeer, available on iOS and Android.
Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption, to honour it with its’ full title, is a marvellous medley of minigames wrapped up in one delightful package. You are Billy the fisherman, who is on a quest to drop his tackle deeper and faster into the fishy depths than any man before him. You cast your line and the first part of the game’s triple threat has you using the tilt controls to avoid fish, crustaceans and aquatic mammals as you drop your lure as deep as you’re able, limited only by the length of your line, the ocean floor and your own ability. When you strike a fish the second phase of the game begins, as you reel in your line and attempt to hook and bring to the surface as many fish as you can, whilst avoiding jellyfish. Once you hit the surface, your catch will take to the air and you’re tasked with shooting the flying fish out of the sky. The game features four areas to fish in: Home Waters, Stormy Seas and Arctic Floes each get progressively deeper, until you reach the bottomless Maelstrom. You’ll be checking species off of your Fish-O-Pedia as you play, earning cash for your catch. This can be used to aid progression by upgrading your line length, adding attachments to your tackle and buying bigger and better guns amongst other things; who hasn’t wanted to shoot fish out of the air with twin Miniguns?
The game started as a browser based outing named Radical Fishing that was sold in 2010, with Vlambeer keeping the option to produce the iOS version we see before us today; but it wasn’t all plain sailing. A year after development of Ridiculous Fishing started, a clone called ‘Ninja Fishing’ was released by Gamenauts and Vlambeer were unable to take action, due to the fact that game mechanics are not subject to copyright. This demoralised the team and lead to development delays before they were nominated for a GDC award in 2011 for their other game ‘Super Crate Boy’. One year later they were back at GDC giving on talk on how cloning hurts the industry and they received a standing ovation from 200 people in the industry and Ridiculous Fishing was released the next year. Check out the Vlambeer story in a great in-depth interview from Polygon.
So is it worth the ‘Cost of a Coffee’? Well that depends really… if you want an interesting, inspired and original kind of game for the same price as your pot of peppermint tea, then yes; if you want to support an indie developer who was brave enough to realise their vision in the face of adversity and send a shot across the bows of industry acceptance that cloning is ok, then doubly yes. Buy it on iOS and Android, and then buy Super Crate Boy too.