The Many Versions of Flick Fishing
UK-based developer Strange Flavour was founded in 2001, but its team’s roots in the games industry go back a bit farther. Brothers Aaron and Adam Fothergill have been working as game developers since the mid-1990s, when they worked on fondly-remembered classics for the Commodore Amiga such as 1994’s Jetstrike and 1995’s Base Jumpers. A couple of years later, the two joined Argonaut Software, the famed developer behind Star Fox and the Super FX add-on chip for Nintendo’s Super NES. They continued working on various projects there until 2004, when Argonaut had to close its doors.
A few years prior, they had founded Strange Flavour. In the beginning, it was just a way for the brothers to tinker on small MacOS projects. They hooked up with publisher Freeverse, and some of these little games became quite popular. Airburst, a variation on the Atari classic Warlords, was particularly well-liked, earning awards and accolades for its colorful visuals and enjoyable gameplay. Freeverse had always been a particularly strong supporter of Apple’s hardware, so it was only natural that when the iPhone came about, the publisher was there almost from the start. Strange Flavour took an equal interest, getting in early with Plank, an updated version of its earlier Mac title ToySight.
Strange Flavour’s first big success on the platform came with the release of Flick Fishing in late 2008. The title was a smash hit, selling well over a million copies and earning wide acclaim from critics and players alike. The team followed that up in February of 2009 with SlotZ Racer, an impressive slot-car racing game that was another big success. Strange Flavour and Freeverse teamed up for several other excellent games in the following years to varying degrees of success.
This situation likely would have continued were it not for a couple of acquisitions. Freeverse was acquired by ngmoco in 2010, and things more or less went on as normal at first. Things began to change after ngmoco itself was acquired by DeNA Mobage mere months later. After this, many ngmoco and Freeverse games were delisted from the App Store, leading to the eventual closure of both companies by DeNA in 2016. Fortunately, Strange Flavour had already struck out on its own well before that. It began publishing its own titles to the App Store, and even did something of a spritual successor to Flick Fishing called Fast Fishing, which released in early 2015.
Fast Fishing was an interesting title. In many ways, it felt similar to Flick Fishing, but true to its title it focused on blitz-style speed fishing. Certainly a good game, but it didn’t quite capture the relaxed atmosphere that was so appealing for many fans of Flick Fishing. At the very least, it showed that Strange Flavour wasn’t quite done with making fishing games. It also showed that players were still hungry for the team’s particular take on the sport.
In March 2016, Strange Flavour released a game to meet the request for a fishing game that more closely resembled the original Flick Fishing. Fish! was, in all but name, a remake of Flick Fishing. But it wasn’t just a remake, as it offered a lot of new features, content, and options not found in the original game. Anyone who had enjoyed the original game would immediately feel comfortable with Fish!, and with a happy audience paying attention, Strange Flavour began creating even more new content in a regular stream of updates.
Finally, in July of 2018, Strange Flavour made it official and renamed Fish! to Flick Fishing. By this point, essentially all of the content from the original game had made it into the new one in some form or another, plus a whole lot more. In 2019, it joined the GameClub library as a representative of the classic original game’s legendary status.