Out on the virtual lake with Gone Fishing Mobile

Gone Fishing Mobile from Russian developer Drimmi LLC is an Android-based sequel to the company’s Facebook game Gone Fishing. The new game is a free-to-play title, available now from Google Play, and has been downloaded over 500,000 times since its release.

Note: This title was tested on a Motorola Xoom tablet running Android 3.2. No technical or performance issues were encountered during play. The developer notes that the game only supports devices with a screen resolution of 320×480 or higher.

Unlike many other fishing games on social networks and mobile devices that tend to err on the side of a cartoony aesthetic, Gone Fishing takes a more realistic approach to its presentation through high-resolution static backdrops and effective, minimalist use of ambient sounds such as birdsong and insects buzzing. It is certainly an atmospheric appearance that captures the calm of being out in the middle of a lake with only a rod for company.

Gameplay revolves around selecting a rod, lure and bait (all of which may be purchased from the in-game store) and then casting off into the water by tapping a button in the corner of the screen. The player must then watch the button and tap it again when its wording changes to “Hook,” at which point a minigame begins. Unlike the original Gone Fishing on Facebook, which simply requires players to hold down the mouse button to reel in the fish and release when a line tension meter gets too high, the mobile version of Gone Fishing requires players to use touch controls to move an on-screen reel up and down in order to keep a fish icon in a spotlight. When the fish is in the spotlight, a meter increases, with the fish being caught when the meter is full. Heavier, stronger fish move more quickly up and down the screen, making them more difficult to catch — almost unfairly so at times — but most can be captured with patience.

Upon catching a fish for the first time, the player is rewarded with a page of information about it. All fish can be sold for soft currency, and it is also possible to share a “brag” picture of particularly impressive catches on Facebook. An achievement system drives progress, with further fishing locations unlocking as the player fulfils the requirements for specific achievements in one spot. Players are also presented with quests as they progress through the game, with rewards of soft currency and equipment on offer for successfully completing objectives.

Social features are limited to the aforementioned Facebook photo-sharing feature — there is, at this time, no means of competing directly against other players. Twitter integration is supposedly on the way but has not yet been implemented in the current version.

The game monetizes primarily through hard currency sales. Hard currency may be exchanged for soft currency, used to purchase more effective equipment or used to unlock additional fishing spots without first having to fulfil the achievement requirements. A Tapjoy offer wall is in place in the game for those players who prefer to acquire hard currency for free, and a one-time bonus is available for players who leave a review for the game on Google Play — though as usual this may be bypassed simply by popping up the Google Play store and then closing it again without rating.

Gone Fishing is a simple but fun fishing game, and Android players seem to have been responding positively to it. Its gameplay is straightforward and simple to understand, with depth added through the variety of equipment on offer to catch different types of fish. Audio-visual presentation is very good and highly atmospheric. The game also supports a wide variety of languages, though the translation to English leaves a great deal to be desired throughout. Despite this flaw, the game is a decent-quality mobile title that is likely to monetize well if early user figures and reviews are anything to go by.

Gone Fishing is available now from Google Play, and has enjoyed between 500,000 and 1,000,000 installs to date according to Google.