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Dredge is a sinister, otherworldly fishing sim coming in March

Spooky undercurrents

Fishing mini-games make just about any game better. There’s something meditative about being close to the water, waiting in silence for a catch, and mashing buttons to reel them in - plus I don’t need to deal with the horrendous smell from behind the safety of my desk. The indie game Dredge subverts what I like about fishing games, with an eerie eldritch horror waiting beneath the ocean’s surface. We won’t need to wait long before we see what's under there as Dredge releases on March 30th.

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Dredge’s most recent trailer has a great bait-and-switch. It starts with all the things you’d expect from a rustic, cartoony fishing sim: the gentle sounds of birds and waves, a cosy sunset, and a quaint seaside port. But when the sun fully sets, the trailer reveals more of what the game’s about. Our player character begins to trade larger and larger fish, until he hands in a catch that’s so deformed, it must be from a different plane of existence. If Dredge is split between tranquil daytime seafaring, and avoiding otherworldly horrors at night, that seems like a contrast I could get into.

You’re not selling fish to afford a mortgage, though. The money you get from catches can be spent on new rod types, different skills, and reinforcements for your ship that allow you to reach more secluded islands. The further out you go, the more dangerous things can get, and I’m excited to see just how deep Dredge’s scares run.

The RPS Treehouse already has high hopes for this one as it made it onto our 101 Most Anticipated Games list, and its excellent demo last year teased enough of its moreish management systems to get us hooked.

Dredge is setting sail on March 30th for PC and consoles. The base game will be available on Steam for £22/$25/€25, while the Digital Deluxe Edition is £24.28/$27/€27. The Digital Deluxe Edition includes the Blackstone Key DLC, giving players access to a workshop on Blackstone Isle.

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