Wot I Think: Cat Goes Fishing

I’ll have a quick look at Cat Goes Fishing, I thought to myself, pleased by its silly name. It’s been a few hours since. I’m forcing myself to stop playing to write this, because it’s plainly ludicrous that I’m so, er, hooked. A game in which a cat goes fishing. But a hugely charming one, and surprisingly involved. It’s Ridiculous Fishing with the “ridiculous” replaced by “serene”. Here’s wot I think:

There’s a slightly physicsy casting, then you drag your lure through the piscine-infested waters, attempting to steer past the fishies you’re not after, and attract those you are. It works by scale, with small fish taking the basic bait, then larger fish wanting smaller fish, and so on. But as you play, you learn which species will scoff the wrong thing, and which it’s helpful to deliberately fish out of your path before trying to catch something more complicated.

As you go, you sell your catches, and then spend the money on new rods, silly extras like bombs and rockets, and extra bonus features like faster sinking lures, or ways to attract or repel certain species. Later come hats, caught from the water to give special abilities, and also boats, to let you leave the pier and fish in deeper, more varied waters.

It may read a lot like Vlambeer’s cashcow, but it plays almost nothing like Ridiculous Fishing. This is a calm little thing, much more of a pleasant Sunday afternoon out slaughtering animals. Working out the minute little behavioural differences in various fish species becomes stupidly engrossing, as you load up the back of your boat with your victims. Realising that one fish can attract schools of other valuable nibblers starts you off in exploring the potential for increasing your haul, and your haul’s value. But all at a lovely, placid pace.

As you upgrade your rod, and later boat, you’re able to fish farther out, and deeper down. But getting there involves finding a way past all the greedy beasts in the nearer and shallower waters. Stopping them from eating your bait on the way down, or chomping on your catch and devaluing it on the way up. This can be achieved either by crafty line use, cleverly reeling your way through. Or by attaching a bomb to your line, and scaring the fish away to create temporary paths. (Indeed, just scaring them, rather than blowing them all to bits.)

Quite how the cat manages to sell any of them, rather than greedily nomming them on the shore, is a question only a person who had accepted the bit where the cat was fishing would ask. It’s just £3.74 on Steam this week, and while I think it’s fair to say it doesn’t innovate in any way, it’s a hugely charming and calming little morsel. It’s also nice to play a sweet, simple game like this, that doesn’t feel lacking for not being on a touch screen – despite its having been released on Android late last year.

Okay, look, I went back and played a bit more. I unlocked the radar. This is daft. I want to play more.

17 Comments

  1. Eight Rooks says:

    This intrigues me, because I never found Ridiculous Fishing to be that much fun, and the praise it gets continually puzzles me. Polished, beautifully put together, made with a ton of love and attention to detail, sure. I still find it dull and frustrating. My problems with it are mostly nitpicks, but they add up to a lot, so… I could see myself enjoying a game that tweaks the formula just enough so it’s basically the same but different.

    • Ooops says:

      This. Ridiculous Fishing is a fantastically well-made game, that happens to not be any fun at all to me.

      • Tacroy says:

        I honestly thought there was something wrong with me, every individual piece of Ridiculous Fishing was something I liked but somehow I found the whole package undrinkable.

  2. Emeraude says:

    Look, I hate to break it up to you, but fishing is evil!*

    By extension, any game about fishing is evil!

    On top of that cats are evil! multipliers.

    Making this game one of the most terrible release on an unsuspecting world in at least a year.

    I’m cowering in fear right now, and thank you not!

    *: Not evil, not evil, evil!.

  3. garythehobo says:

    Wow, this game looks like quite a catch, the trailer really hooked me. I’ve been longfin for a game to play to stop me from feline bored.

    • Premium User Badge

      Skabooga says:

      Tuna down your enthusiasm or you’ll scare prospective players away.

      • frymaster says:

        There’s a time and a plaice for fish puns, you shouldn’t make them just for the halibut.

  4. Vandro says:

    never mind

  5. jrodman says:

    Thanks for the article! I was just trawling through the steam review, fishing for some information of any merit.

    All I found were puns. Terrible!

    (Seriously, I wish I could filter the steam reviews of useless dross.)

  6. pancakboy says:

    I love this game, a lot, my only problem is how long you have to wait to have the fish respawn. I literally could not progress at all for a while because I had pushed the fish of the sea into temporary extinction.

  7. ebyronnelson says:

    Hm, what is the relationship of this to the nearly identical Fishing Girl, which I played years ago and loved? Cat Goes Fishing’s website mentions Fishing Girl as “original design” and provides link, but FG was designed by Daniel Cook and then implemented in flash as a free browser game by something called Luna Drift Games, whereas CGF appears to have been made by three entirely different people. Is there something fishy here, or am I just fishing for mysteries?

  8. malkav11 says:

    This is part of the Groupees Be Mine 17 bundle:
    link to groupees.com

    It requires you to bump up to the higher ($4) tier, so it’s not really a savings over buying it straight out, but you do get a whole bunch of other games alongside it.

  9. Sivart13 says:

    I bought this game on steam based on this review. I regret it.

    The physics are weird, the gameplay is repetitive, the prices for the upgrades are WAY spaced out. The menus have unnecessary animations that just make them hard to use. Everything from the cat to the fish to the boat is just a 2-d sprite floating around with no character at all.

    A game could be good with some of these deficiencies, but it has all of them.

    I don’t normally get irked about the cost of a game, but Steam is currently charging seven dollars for this. Seven dollars for a 15MB game that shows off most of its ideas in the first ten minutes. Any free-to-play game in the world has more content available than this.

    For half as much you could get “One Way Heroics” and experience an original idea. For three bucks more you could get “Cook, Serve, Delicious!” and have content for days. I’m sure there’s a hell of a lot more little games like those that I haven’t even heard of, why put any focus on this?