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.