Let’s face it: there are a lot of crappy games available for the iPhone. Even 99 cents — as cheap as that is — is more than I’m willing to pay for most games, since I’m unlikely to get even a dollar’s worth of enjoyment from them. Not so with Freeverse’s Flick Fishing. This 99 cent game offers a lot for that very small price tag. In addition to great graphics, excellent sounds, and decent gameplay, you can purchase expansion content in-game. And there are a variety of clever multiplayer aspects built in, too.
Flick Fishing is, as you’d guess, a fishing game. You can fish for fun in a number of locations, each with different kinds of fish and weather conditions. You can also play tournament games against CPU and human opponents, to see who can catch the most fish, or who can catch the biggest fish, in a specific period of time. The graphics are quite good: water ripples or waves realistically and the sunlight glints off the surface of the water. The sound effects aren’t quite like those you’d hear were you fishing for real, but they’re relatively soothing such that this game can be a good surrogate for actually fishing.
Gameplay is easy. You flick your iPhone to cast your line out. An on-screen reel appears. When you hook a fish, you simply use your finger to wind the reel. At the top of the screen are two status bars: one for line strength, and one for fish strength. The line strength represents your fishing line. As you reel in your catch it will increase the strain on your line. If you reel too fast, the line strength status bar will grow toward the right: when it reaches the end, your line snaps and your fish gets away. The fish strength indicator works the other way: it starts full and decreases toward the left as you wear down the fish. At the first couple of locations, you’re unlikely to pay any attention to line strength, as you’re reeling in smaller freshwater fish. When you go deep sea fishing and hook a marlin, though, you’d better pay attention to that line strength if you want to collect your prize!
Flick Fishing offers a nice compliment of baits. Different fish respond to different bait types. There’s bait fish, luncheon meat, lures, flies, and more. Lures and flies operate just like their real-life counterpart: you need to slowly reel them in after you cast them in order to get the fish to see them. Bait fish, luncheon meat and other baits use the traditional red and white bobber that floats at the surface. When a fish bites, your bobber will submerge, and it’s time to start reeling!
Truth be told: Flick Fishing got a little repetitive. But then again, I’m not a fisherman. Sitting in a boat — or on a dock — for a couple hours waiting for a fish to bite my line isn’t my idea of a good time. At least with Flick Fishing I’m guaranteed to get a bite every time! Plus, there’s no bugs!
I didn’t get the chance to test any of the multiplayer aspects of Flick Fishing, unfortunately. You can do tournament fishing against another human using a single iPhone, simply by taking turns. Bluetooth multiplayer tournaments are supported, too, assuming your friends have purchased Flick Fishing.
Flick Fishing also introduces Fish Net, a shared leaderboard function that allows you to asynchronously compete against others. Create or join a Fish Net, and then simply go fishing. If you catch the biggest fish, all the people in your Fish Net group will be alerted. If someone catches a bigger fish than you, you’ll get alerted. That’s a pretty clever, low-impact way to enjoy multiplayer gaming. No need to coordinate times to play, no need to pass an iPhone back and forth between players. Simply fish as normal, and let the Fish Net work its magic for you!
Finally, for the really die-hard Flick Fisherman, there’s the “Brag” feature. You can email a photo of the largest fish you’ve caught. I’m sure all your friends will be very interested to know about that 20 pound trout you caught at the old pond!
Once you’ve finished playing through the default locations, and have collected all the fish, you can buy access to “Private Beach” right from within the game. This adds a couple new fish, as well as a new game mode called “Fish Jack”, which is like Blackjack, but with fish! Expect to see more and more games (and apps in general) provide expansion content via in-app purchases.
Bottom line: you get a lot of game for 99 cents. You don’t need to be a fisherman to enjoy Flick Fishing.