Fishing Star World Tour doesn’t make the biggest splash, but it’s not always the size of the fish that matters. Sometimes it’s just about the experience of casting a line into the unknown and the anticipation of a battle yet to come.
There’s no real story in Fishing Star World Tour, beyond the briefest explanation offered about controls and progression. New anglers are thrown directly into fishing and racking up catches left and right. The first hour moves at a breakneck pace of catching fish left and right, being rewarded with better gear – and the overwhelming sense of being left in the dust. Thankfully, things started to slow down, but there were still mechanics I struggled to grasp until well into my new fishing career.
Other fishing games are like simulators of the sport while Fishing Star World Tour opts out for a more casual, arcade-like experience. Catching fish is pretty basic from casting out and slowly reeling in the lure to attract a fish. When a fish bites a battle ensues that can last anywhere from thirty seconds to five minutes as fish fight to break free of the line; reeling in a catch anglers run the risk of losing their catch. Despite this, I only lost one battle, and that’s when I had to answer the phone. If you plan on getting anywhere in this game make sure you’ve silenced any and all distractions.
There’s a meter showing how much stress is on the fishing line so anglers can adjust to cut down or increase the bar. Reeling in a fish causes the bar to go up, while stopping or moving the pole causes it to go down. It’s a basic fishing system you’ve probably seen before, but still gets the job done.
With over 180 species of fish to catch there’s certainly plenty of variety. Fishing Star World Tour provides new anglers with several environments to fish in from lush jungle ponds to the wide expanse of a crystalline ocean. In each area, there’s small missions to catch certain species of fish to progress to a new locale. Rewards are given throughout in the form of better fishing equipment like lures, reels, and poles.
As mentioned before, progress moves at breakneck speed before inevitably slowing down to a snail’s pace. There’s a random element to catching fish because there’s no indication of the species hooked on the line. There were times I got stuck in an area for over twenty+ minutes because I hadn’t snagged the right species of fish. The type of fish caught can be influenced by using different lures to increase or decrease the chances of catching a certain species, which adds some welcome strategy to the mix. Most of the time though, like me, most people will be stuck waiting for the right fish to come along.
The game also helps break up potential monotony by offering an option to switch controls. While anglers can play using a handheld controller, there’s also an option to use the standard Joy-Cons, one acting as the pole while the other controls the reel. Playing with the Joy-Cons added a whole new element to experience because, instead of passively fishing, I’m actively engaged with the action. Such a simple change drastically shifted my focus from pressing a button to waving my arms around reeling in a fish.
There’s also a fishing mini-game included that uses the Labo Toy-Con fishing rod. This was a nice change because it’s the first game I’ve (personally) come across to use anything from the Labo kits. Sadly, it’s only in the form of a mini-game instead of having an entire experience using an actual, albeit cardboard, fishing rod.
Fishing Star World Tour isn’t a realistic simulator teaching the basics of fishing or how to become a better angler. It offers fun, casual arcade-style fishing that builds off good game design and solid mechanics to keep anglers invested in catching a nice variety of available fish. There’s not much to the actual gameplay, but some welcome strategy using lures and welcome Joy-Con motion controls help keep things interesting even during longer waiting sessions. While it’s not the most impressive fishing game on the market, Fishing Star World Tour is certainly one of the most original.