Ninja Edit: Vlambeer Clone Tycoon

Vlambeer’s Ridiculous Fishing has been a deserved success but while its precursor Radical Fishing was still in development, a game called Ninja Fishing appeared on the Appstore, which cloned Vlambeer’s structure, replacing fish-blasting with Fruit Ninja’s slicing. To commemorate that moment and (presumably) to coincide with the Android release of Ridiculous, Rik Nieuwdorp and Martijn Frazer have created Vlambeer Clone Tycoon, a browser game about monitoring gaming websites to look for new ideas to copy and sell.

The aim of the game is to pick out Vlambeer’s ideas and copy them before they are released. It’s a simple process, not as involved as Game Dev Tycoon, but there’s plenty of humour to be found in the news stories that crop up during the course of the game. In fact, a Vlambeer Clone Tycoon gamejam might well produce some entertaining results. Who wouldn’t want to try Robot Hunger or Blood Verbs, with its focus on ‘adaptive music’? And then there’s Drive Away Fast, a puzzle game that UraGamer rated 10/10 for graphics but only granted 0.5/10 in their overall verdict.

I am the worst Vlambeer Clone Tycoon ever because I spend so much time reading headlines such as “Is Porking Meter Turning Our Children Into Snake-Obsessed Killers?” that I don’t spend any time actually cloning games. I only just noticed that checking the weather forecast causes a month to pass in-game, which makes this as much a general procrastination simulator as a spoof of unsavoury industry practices.

As for Ridiculous Fishing itself? I bought it at the weekend, now that it’s finally available on Android, and it’s as weird and joyous as I’d expected. Vlambeer seem to have picked through the free to play scene, extracting every hook and then blowing the common IAP-fuelled progression structure to smithereens. There’s no need to accelerate progress, except by playing and improving, because almost every trip reveals something new and the three activities that make up the game are fast and challenging rather than unpleasant millstones to grind against.

When the Ninja Fishing incident was fresh, Vlambeer had this to say about cloning:

“We should’t attack cloning. We shouldn’t try to take down clones. We should approach it from a contructive perspective.

“We should improve game literacy, and build a foundation for creativity. We should offer insight into the game design process, talk about design in depth.

“We should protect open development. The logical response to this is keep your cards close to your chest, so that no one rips it off. But we should show people that making our game is something we struggled with for months”

Go forth and make games with Casio soundtracks. Or play Vlambeer’s latest, Nuclear Throne, and write some beat poetry of your own.


  1. RedViv says:

    This is a most brilliant idea.

    • Fenix says:

      I had never heard of either game nor I was following these things, but I have admit, it was brilliant.

      Maybe these Vlambeer should write and create a comedy adventure game. Judging by this “game”, they definitely can!

    • Stickman says:

      Especially the bit about “winning” regardless of the state of your released rip-offs.

      I was slightly disappointed to discover that *Spoiler* Vlambeer Clone Tycoon isn’t one of the games you can clone. *Spoiler*

  2. CrankyChipmonk says:

    The humble mobile bundle for the next 8 days includes ridiculous fishing if you play more than $5.24 at the time of this comment.

  3. Svardskampe says:

    It’s a shame the Android version of ridiculous fishing is so horribly optimised. The first ipad, with its relatively weak CPU nowadays plays it fine and lag free, and my Nexus 7 from 2012 with a tegra CPUGPU hybrid has some lagspikes that make me think back of the 90’s

    • Vlambeer says:

      An Android release remains a bit of a global playtest – there are so many device configurations that the release felt more like ‘we’ve tested it on the most common devices, fingers crossed that it works on everything else’. Of course, after release we were ready to quickly tackle the biggest problems. Within a day we released the first update, fixing the most common issues.

      Have you tried downloading that first update? We’ve fixed a lot of performance and battery issues, and hopefully those should work for you too. If not, e-mail, so that Apportable may take a look at things.

    • Carra says:

      I’ve been surprised by the low performance myself. I’m using a Nexus 4 which should be plenty to run it but it’s not running smoothly at all.

      Still, even with that, its a lot of fun. One of those ideal games to play if you only have 5 minutes of time.

  4. Anthile says:

    This is surprisingly difficult.

    link to

    Nobody can say my concept wasn’t sound, though.

  5. Cypreana says:

    This game opened my eyes. I always despised these blatant copies of games. But this game made me realise it’s surprisingly hard to stay ahead of the guys you are copying.
    Plus, you get so much hatemail. :(

    • Anthile says:

      This makes me wonder how much hatemail Vlambeer got by people who thought they ripped off Ninja Fishing.

      • Vlambeer says:

        Less than we feared we would, more than we care to admit. That has always been one of the most painful things about the whole situation – people that got it the wrong way around.

        • jorygriffis says:

          How cruel that had to happen on top of everything else. I’m sorry. You guys rule.

  6. Low Life says:

    I will be quite disappointed if this game doesn’t get cloned.

  7. DrScuttles says:

    As an aside almost completely unrelated to the content of this post, I can’t help but observe that Vlambeer’s logo keeps reminding me of a Dalek trundling through the flames of chaos.

  8. MOKKA says:

    I suck at cloning Vlambeer-games. They’re just too fast for me.

  9. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    There’s a real gem in the comments of that old article: Wallenstein 3D.

  10. Eukatheude says:

    Tic Tac Torpedo.

  11. Rik Nieuwdorp says:

    Looking at the screenshot, we’re a bit sad you guys haven’t discovered the Tic Tac Torpedo bookmark yet. ;)

  12. SominiTheCommenter says:

    link to
    Someone had to do it.