Don’t seem to be able to find the time to go fishing? When family, work or other commitments make an escape to the riverbank, lake or shore impossible, why not cast from your couch instead?
We’re talking computer games.
Fishing games have been around since the 1980s, and today they’re more popular than ever. Here are six of our favourite fishing video games…
1. Gone Fishing: Trophy Catch (2012)
The figure of 14 million downloads speaks for itself. As a fishing game app,Gone Fishing might lack the excitement and drama of other fishing games but it’s obviously a hit with casual ‘screen-prodders’.
Purists who enjoy the slower pace of real-life fishing might baulk at the speed with which fish bite onto the virtual lures here. But if a fraction of the gamers who’ve downloaded Gone Fishing are inspired to pick upreal fly fishing reels and rods, then what an advert for the sport we love.
Available for Android or iOS – why not give it a try?
2. Ninja Fishing (2011)
Imagine catching 30 fish on one line, flinging them into the air and then slicing them into sushi before they hit the floor. That’s Ninja Fishing; the smash hit, genre-bending fishing game of 2011.
Ninja Fishing is available as an app for either iOS or Android. If you’re an angler who loves nothing more than quiet hours on the riverbank with a box of hand-tied flies and a thermos of coffee, then this is NOT the game for you.
It is, however, extremely addictive. Be warned.
3. Go Fishing (2011)
Racking up over a million Facebook ‘Likes’ since its release in 2011, Go Fishing is a Facebook integrated fishing game app available for PC and iPad.
Gamers compete in challenges and tournaments against their Facebook friends. Complete a challenge to win ‘coins’ and ‘pearls’ which can be traded for better fishing tackle and bait. All the fishing spots in the game are modelled on real life locations, like Lake Michigan, Florida, or Loch Ness.
4. Bass Pro Shops: The Strike (2009)
Bass Pro Shops: The Strike promises to ‘bring the lake to your living room’. Gamers have 10 North American lakes to choose from, each containing the same fish species found there in real life.
The aim of the game is to catch big fish. But to land real whoppers, you’ll need the best equipment. Gamers earn money to ‘buy’ tackle and bait by competing in tournaments and challenges.
On its release for Xbox 360 in 2009, The Strike was heralded as the best fishing game for many a year.
5. Sega Bass Fishing (1999)
Arguably the best fishing video game of all time, and based on a real arcade game launched in 1997, Sega Bass Fishing was released for Dreamcast in 1999 to massive critical acclaim.
Its unique ‘rod and reel’ controller, meant gamers could battle big bass from their bedrooms, with an all new degree of reality. Anglers and non-anglers alike were hooked on this classic, now adapted for Wii, XBox 360, PS3 and PC.
6. The Black Bass (1989)
Step back in time to an age before 3D graphics and sophisticated storylines in computer games and you’ll find The Black Bass from 1989. The 8-bit mono internal speaker sound and 64-colour display are prehistoric by today’s standards, but the game is the foundation of modern fishing video games.
You’re a hat wearing character with a fishing rod, and your task is to catch big fish – the eponymous black bass. Land lots of these fish, and virtual anglers can climb from 200th place to 1st in the ‘Wranglers Tournament’.
Fans of retro video games will have to scour ebay or vintage game stores to find this one – but what a classic.