You wouldn’t think it, but having a familiarity with marine life provides something of an advantage when playing this 3DS bait’em up. To progress from a fishing novice to a master of all things fishy, challenges have to be beaten in order to unlock new fishing areas.
The majority of these challenges involve catching certain breeds, so if you’re able to easily spot the differences between carp and bass, or minnows and dace, then it’ll certainly make progression less of an upstream struggle.
Thankfully, then, the fish have been rendered in a realistic enough fashion so that the distinguishable features are, well, distinguishable. Worry not if you do catch the wrong fish, as you’re never penalised.
Instead, the option is given to either release it or keep it in stored in a livebox where it can then be placed into one of two tanks. As well as the new fishing areas, the white bearded chap who stumps up the challenges also hands out tank decorations as rewards.
Customising a tank to your own tastes and interacting with the fish that you’ve chosen to keep is curiously calming, very much like starring into a fish tank while waiting at the dentist.
Catching fish is likewise surprisingly stress free. Just a simple flick on the touch screen casts the line out, while reeling in requires circles to be drawn on the screen. Sound plays a part too – a high-pitched noise can be heard if the line is about to snap.
Due to being designed to be played on the go, the fish usually bite within ten seconds or so of casting out and as such most challenges shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Trying out different types of bait adds a pleasing degree of experimentation while the amount of locations to fish in is remarkably high.
Reel Fishing Paradise 3D has been available at retail for quite some time now, but only recently has it become available as a download on the eShop. Unlike American gamers, who are only have access to a cut-down mini version, us Europeans are being treated to the full package.
If you found yourself spending more time fishing in Animal Crossing than hunting for fossils, or spent ages in Ocarina of Time trying to catch the elusive Hylian loach, then give this one some consideration. It may not have you hooked for long, but at least you’ll feel more relaxed by the time the credits roll.
Virtual fishing – it’s the lazy man’s relaxation tool.