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Relax into Flick Fishing

If you’re used to the more guided experiences of more modern mobile games, Flick Fishing can initially be a little disorienting. Its tutorial, such as it is, does little more than teach you how to cast your line and reel it in. It doesn’t push you into any mode in particular, and doesn’t call your attention to any buttons. While the game certainly has goals, missions, things to collect, and specific tasks to perform, the fact that it isn’t insistent about them is refreshing and indicative of why Flick Fishing is so appealing.

The various fishing spots are lined up at the bottom of the main screen, and if you investigate a little bit you’ll see that you need a certain number of stars to open up anything past the first few. Choose your location and you’ll be presented with a simple choice. Do you want to participate in a tournament against a CPU player, or just fish? If you choose the latter, you’ll be taken to the location and can simply fish to your heart’s content. There’s no timer, no goal to achieve, nothing but you and a relaxing day out on the water. Almost anything you can do in the other modes can be done here, and when you’ve had enough you simply exit and head back to the title screen.

Each location offers up three stars to earn, which will help you unlock new locations. The means of earning these stars is always largely the same. The first will be a challenge to catch a fish of a particular weight, which can be done in any mode. The second will task you with winning a Best Catch tournament, where you compete against an opponent to see who can catch the most fish (in weight) in within a set time limit. The third is awarded for winning a Best Fish tournament, which sees you competing to see who can catch the biggest individual fish in a set amount of time. Collecting these stars is as close to a main goal as Flick Fishing offers, as it is how you open up all of the locations.

You don’t have to look far to find other things to do, however. A series of missions are given to you through humorous letters that you can check from the title screen. These missions more or less escalate along with the natural process of unlocking the locations themselves. There are lots of treasures to find, surprisingly enough. You’ll fish them from the various locations and your collection is viewable at any time. Completing treasure sets will unlock new features. By catching legendary fish, you’ll get access to a customizable rod and gems you can affix to it for various effects. There are trophies to earn, and you can even enjoy the simple pleasure of collecting all of the fish.

There are 34 fish in the game, and they come in a variety of sizes. The game will keep track of which ones you’ve caught as well as the weight of the heaviest one you’ve caught. You can view these fish with the aquarium option on the main menu, and simply trying to get them all is a fun goal all on its own. If you’d like to play the game with friends, you can do a pass-and-play tournament with someone in the same room with you. Each person takes a turn doing their fishing and the winner is declared after both have had their chance.

You’re probably starting to get the idea about how Flick Fishing wants you to approach it. There are lots of things to do, none of them are given any particular priority, and there are a lot of collectibles and fun things to unlock. There are lots of ways to play depending on your particular needs, as well. You’ll eventually unlock a couple of extra modes that allow you to fish at night or play at a much higher difficulty. The nice thing is that no matter which mode you play, you’re able to work towards all of your goals and collections. You’ll fish up treasure chests during tournaments, encounter legendary fish when battling the CPU, and add to your aquarium with each catch when you’re playing solo. There’s a lot of freedom here.

Adding to that relaxed feeling are the wonderful controls. You can choose to flick your device to cast your line, or simply use a timing-based tap system. No matter which method you use, casting and reeling in are very simple things to do. If you get a bite, just reel it in. Stronger fish will put more tension on your line, so you have to take your time and give them a bit of slack now and then to avoid snapping the line and losing the fish. It’s a straightforward system that doesn’t lean as heavily on split-second timing as many fishing games do. As silly as it may be, flicking to send out your line remains a fun little bit of realism even today.

When it comes down to it, Flick Fishing works because it almost perfectly taps into the idea of gaming as escapism. The locations are cosy and relaxing, the gameplay mechanics are low-stress but still a bit exciting, and it’s easy to slip in and spend a few minutes playing without having to get deeply invested. Even better still you can make progress of some kind in those few minutes, so even if you’re more goal-oriented it’s still a good use of your time. It’s one of those experiences that makes you really appreciate a mobile device’s capability to be a tiny window into another world.


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