There’s something fishy going on.

Title: Fishing Sim World
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Dovetail Games
Publisher: Dovetail Games – Fishing
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: It’s on such a realistic level it forgets it’s a video game.
Price: $39.99/£29.99 (across all platforms)
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

In the past few years, the gaming world has been filling up with remasters and simulators, some are ridiculous like Goat Simulator or the more realistic simulators such as Farming Simulator or the game we are here to talk about, Fishing Sim World. But does, Dovetail Games’ brand new title stand up in the world of simulators?

Unfortunately, Fishing Sim World is not for newbies… If you have knowledge of fishing, this game is going to appeal to you so much more than it does\to a newbie like myself. The game requires intense patience from the get-go, with an in-depth tutorial system that you can’t even interact with, it’s just a series of instructional videos so for those of you who prefer to interact with your tutorials, you’re outta luck.

The game starts out with you creating your character with the help of an extremely limited creator. Your character only has a few options for a head, hairstyle or clothing, with no option to craft the finer details on your character like the weight, height or details on the face. I enjoy a good character creation tool, I know you could argue that this is a fishing simulator and not Final Fantasy XIV but it could have included a few more options than it had. The game allows you to choose from a single player mode without any form of campaign or you can jump online and compete with people online who suspiciously look like you to catch the biggest fish in the lake!

Graphically, Fishing Sim World isn’t the best especially for a game when you’re standing on your boat staring out into the vast horizon… The only place the game has any form of graphical fidelity is on the fish but seems you spend most of your time standing around that you barely see any fish. The graphics on the characters give off last generation vibe, with avatars standing around with that strange, rubbery shine of an action figure – or a cyborg fisher-man. Whatever the truth is, it’s an unfortunate end product for a game that’s out on current generation consoles and not too much to have to make look nice.

Before you start any fish hunting you can choose which rod and bait you want to help you nab the fish along with the dock you want to set out from. Then – finally - the game begins! You jump on your boat and head out to the open waters, checking on the radar to see if there’s any fish about. You cast your line out and wait for the suckers to bite, and you’ll be waiting a while as the game is a little too realistic with the whole “patience” thing.

I thought I’d find this game appealing having enjoyed fishing in a handful of other games’ side quests. Admittedly, those games were The Legend of Zelda titles or a Final Fantasy title with the most recent game being Final Fantasy XV. This game, however, is entirely different, as it’s not as simple as tapping the X button, you need patience and strategy which will seem off-putting to people unfamiliar with the sport.

Unfortunately for Fishing Sim World, fishing isn’t an overly popular sport compared to games like FIFA or Madden which have incredibly strong fanbases for their sports. Fishing Sim World will only appeal to the hardcore fishing fanatics like I said before newbies will most likely be put off by the complicated game design and the agonising times between catching fish.

Overall, Fishing Sim World isn’t for everyone and it’s gonna be hard to draw in people who aren’t overly familiar with the sport itself. Graphically, the game doesn’t stand out which is a massive let-down especially when you spend a vast majority of the time staring into the mediocre graphics. The game is too realistic for its own good, I play a game to escape reality and unfortunately, I want to jump quickly back into reality after picking up the controller…

The Good

  • Graphics on the fish are pretty detailed.

The Bad

  • Graphics on everything else is pretty medicore which is a letdown.
  • If you don’t have patience to catch fish this isn’t for you.
  • Not accessible to newcomers with lackluster tutorials.

Family Focus

Fishing Sim World is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB and PEGI 3. It’s a fishing simulator so even little Timmy can play to his hearts content.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code provided by the publishers for the purposes of this review.