Pocket Fishing (Switch) Review

Ultimate Games, who originally released Fishing Simulator, has now ported Pocket Fishing to the Switch. With 65 fish species to catch and numerous abilities to upgrade, this fishing simulator, with its many RPG mechanics, sounds great on paper but has some major flaws when playing on console.

What should be a relaxing and calming digital fishing experience winds up being an unfortunate lesson in frustration. From the ground up, Pocket Fishing was designed around a keyboard and mouse interface. This Switch port reuses this mouse-based interface and tediously maps the pointer to the right stick.  Even the pointer itself is tiny and hard to depict when viewing on the connected TV screen.

Catching fish is so unintuitive, that game is borderline unplayable. First, instead of implementing typical first-person controls, meaning movement is mapped to the LS with perspective changing on the RS, movement is still performed with the LS, but camera movement is assigned to the d-pad for some reason. So you cannot do both at the same time since each part of movement is tied to one thumb.

RT casts the line but hooking the fish is broken at best. When a fish starts to bite, the player needs to align the tiny mouse cursor over a button on the right side of the screen, hold the A button, and then press up on the right stick. To perform these finger gymnastics, you need move your left thumb to the right stick then use your right thumb to hold A… assuming you had enough time to move the cursor to the sweet spot on the screen. This is one of the most unintuitive controls schemes I have seen in any game ever and doesn’t make the game fun to play.

This is a shame because there is a solid foundation here. There are daily and weekly challenges. A bunch of different types of fish to catch. Many tacklebox items to unlock. Abilities to upgrade. Levels to gain. There is a lot here. So it sucks that it requires the patience of a saint to see any of it.

The presentation values are also very low. In fact, without exaggeration, there are higher res textures found in PSOne games than some of the background assets here. There is no music either, only ambient birds chirping set to an awkwardly restarting loop.

Unfortunately, this is another low-quality game by Ultimate Games. If the control scheme was updated to actually support a controller interface, then there could be a couple hours of fun here. Instead, you’ll want to throw this one back to the sea faster than you caught it.    

SCORE: 3/10

Also Play: Fishing Adventure

Worse Than: Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2

Not As Good As: the fishing mini game in Link’s Awakening

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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