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Chill fishing sim Catch & Cook looks a lot like Dredge without the spooky undercurrents

Run a seafood restaurant in the free demo

A screenshot from Catch & Cook, showing a red fishing boat sails on clear blue water with a mountain in the distance
Image credit: Campfire Studio

Take one good look at the upcoming Catch & Cook: Fishing Adventure and you might just mistake it for 2023’s other third-person cartoony fishing sim: Dredge. The big-toothed mutants and otherworldly horrors in Dredge can get quite overwhelming though, especially when they start to chomp at your ship beneath the surface. After playing Catch & Cook’s recently released demo, I’m happy to report that it’s the ideal fishing sim for people who find Dredge’s spooky undercurrents, erm, too spooky. Just a very chill, very good time.

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Catch & Cook puts you in control of a quaint boat, where you’re both the owner of a seafood restaurant and the sole supplier of said seafood. You’re the fisherman and the chef; the catcher and the cooker. Most of my time in the demo was split between catching the fish, trading them for ingredients at nearby islands, and then returning to my restaurant to mix-and-match the newfound items, discovering recipes through experimentation.

Fishing mini-games make pretty much any video game better, is my hot take. The fishing mini-game in the demo is a little one-note, but there’s something inherently meditative about floating above the waves, waiting for a bite, and then clicking for a catch in any game. Hell, I was hooked back into both Destiny 2 and Sable when they added fishing in post-launch updates, so I’m clearly not hard to please.

Plus, most fishing sims and fishing-adjacent games are mostly about the vibes anyway. And oh boy, this game’s vibes are immaculate. Travel agents should simply make clients play this game because all I now crave is a hot sun, some sand, and a brain-freezing drink. The cel-shaded art, colourful underwater flora, and clear ocean are absolutely beautiful. Chuck in a plucky ambient soundtrack and Catch & Cook is a pretty relaxing time.

Catch & Cook’s demo is available now on Steam. The developers say the game will show up again at the upcoming Steam Next Fest, but in the meantime, they frequently tease new areas and biomes over on Twitter.

Oh, and fans of Dredge can look forward to that game’s chiller passive mode too, announced through the recently revealed roadmap.

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