previews\ Apr 5, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Fishing Kings iPhone Preview


There's a host of high-octane games available on the App Store, but sometimes it's nice to relax. We're not the type of people to get up at 6am, get down and dirty with a box of maggots and then sit by a freezing lake in hope of catching a spare tire or shopping cart, so Fishing Kings is the perfect alternative. Transporting us to a far-away paradise, this iPhone title brings serenity to the device like no other.

That is, when you're not battling against the will of an angry fish. For all its beauty, Fishing Kings throws you into a frantic fight of strength and accuracy. After choosing your tropical destination and hotspot, you'll head out to the deep water in a boat, ready to take on the gilled lurkers below. A moment or two should be spent surveying the water, as indications as to where the fish are hiding come in the form of visual cues. A plopping of the water generally means there's something feisty underneath, and should be the starting point for your measured assault on the world below.

Casting your line is simple and intuitive, as you replicate the actual movement with the iPhone. The distance your line travels depends on the movement of your hands, so pulling it towards your body and flimsily pushing it away will result in a shorter cast than if you added a little speed and power. Once in the water, Fishing Kings forces you to read situations quickly in order to capture the prey, as various species swim past your line looking totally disinterested, or if you're lucky, eager to bite.

The strategy starts well before heading out to the water though, as there's a host of baits and lures for players to use. Depending on the island you chose, and the fish you're trying to entice, there's usually a certain selection that'll help make your task easier. Get it completely wrong however, and your prone to missing out on the big catches, or struggling if they do decide to take a chomp on your bit.

Fishing Kings is a beautifully crafted game, and already before release, replicates the wonders of the ocean with sharp, detailed visuals. Hooking a fish is tremendous fun, as reeling in your line provides a sense of urgency that creates a needed change of pace. Your line is prone to snapping if you get overexcited when a fish has been hooked, so players who can keep their cool are going to come out on top here. With leaderboards online ready for comparison, there's a good chance Fishing Kings is going to be extremely popular when it hits the App Store in the next month, as the opportunity to show off you accidentally landed a whale could provide the reason to get involved.

By far Fishing Kings' most vital aspect is its addictiveness. We wanted longer with the game to prove we were up to the task, as its smartly created world fits onto the small screen extremely well. This title is the kind of product the App Store was created for, as it provides short bursts of relaxing gameplay a world away from many of the insistent shooters and intensely paced games that arrive in the virtual library.

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