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Published by Sam Eskenazi on Simulation

Desert Island Fishing Challenge is a game that somehow takes the concept of mobile fishing directly into the realm of fun.

In Desert Island Fishing, you control a character depressingly trapped on an island, fishing endlessly in a sort of Sisyphean nightmare.

On starting, the game will instruct you as to how to fish by holding down on the screen to throw the line. After choosing the depth, you need to hit the screen in a quick time event to match two matching hooks. Then, you catch the fish; if only fishing was this easy in real life.

The ascetic of the game is cutesy, with an overall vibe of early Nintendo games, often touching on adorable. When playing, you half expect some kind of unicorn to appear, giving you magical instructions. Instead, however, the game uses its simplistic and quirky art style to its advantage, focusing on the cool effects and pleasing visuals that it can show.

Desert Island Fishing manages to be a combination of a collecting game and a quick time fishing experience. For such a weird sounding name, Desert Island Fishing brings about a surprising amount of fun.

It is oddly satisfying to hunt down all the different types of fish, catch them with quick phone tapping and adding them to your collection. As you progress further through the game, you gain the ability to move your fishing to the other islands; as you do so, more opportunities and more to catch become available.

Any collecting game must always fear boring the player; even Pokemon had to come up with some kind of meandering backstory to stop the player putting down their gameboy. Thankfully, Desert Island Fishing Challenge keeps the player interested through a variety of fish types to catch and a seemingly never ending amount of new features and things to enjoy.

Despite the depressing implication of being utterly trapped on an island, fishing endlessly to appease some sort of aquatic god that you’ve clearly wronged, Desert Island Fishing never stops being entertaining.

Despite the depressing implication of being utterly trapped on an island, fishing endlessly to appease some sort of aquatic god that you’ve clearly wronged, Desert Island Fishing never stops being entertaining.

Many games of this type – either collecting or fishing focused – often suffer the same problem. The game will begin with some massive reason for fishing, likely some sort of impoverished childhood or Harvest Moon-esque family inheritance, then throw you into the metaphorical deep end and start you fishing with wholly unsatisfactory instructions.

In Desert Island Fishing, however, the instructions are clear and the reasoning isn’t important. The game is fun, challenging and entertaining, all without being exceptionally complicated or confusing.

Considering it’s just a simple fishing and collecting game, that’s pretty impressive.

Desert Island Fishing
Desert Island Fishing
Price: Free+