If you're an angler looking to skillfully hook a variety of aquatic specimens, you'll be disappointed with Fishing Game. But those looking for a fun way to kill five minutes will love this simple game from developer GameLinkMe.
Rather than catching fish with a line and hook, the aim in Fishing Game is to gobble up any fish smaller than yourself, and swim like hell from the jaws of larger fish that have designs on you for their dinner plate.
The more you eat the bigger you get, enabling you to take revenge on fish who once left you in a tailspin. Once fully grown, you unlock the following level.
Sharks are introduced in level three, but the only other noticeable difference between each is the background wallpaper and the difficulty. Although just 15 levels are provided, each is so similar that you don't really want any more.
In each game you get six lives, and more can be won by consuming a fish carrying a 1UP bubble. When you finally meet your watery grave you simply start a new game, selecting any one of Fishing Game's unlocked levels. We found this slightly problematic, however.
We couldn't tell whether it was the software or our tablet that was over-sensitive, but each time we clicked 'New game' it automatically selected a level from the same area of the following screen. This was frustrating when we were trying to complete the final level, and Fishing Game insisted on starting us on level seven.
Similarly, there's no end screen after each level; unless you keep a keen eye on the bottom growth-progress bar, you go directly from gameplay to accidentally selecting a level from the main menu. There's no way to return to this menu once you've begun a game, nor to pause or restart action.
We found a workaround for both scenarios by keeping our finger on the screen and dragging to the level we required.
This wasn't our only gripe with the interface. Levels 10, 12, 13 and 14 are all labelled simply with a 1 - and it's clearly not a space issue, since the icons for levels 11 and 15 are correct. We were also left baffled by the three-star rating that's awarded each time you complete a level - you either grow into a big fish or you don't. It didn't seem to make a difference what our score was, we always won three stars.
Also frustrating were the sensor and sound toggles, growth-progress bar and advertising banner that appear within the playable area of the screen. We've no issue with GameLinkMe adopting an ad-supported model rather than charging us for its wares, but the smaller fish have a tendency to hide behind these onscreen items and it's all to easy to accidentally mute or unmute sound, transport yourself to an ad page during gameplay or, most irritating, activate the sensor.
When activated, the sensor requires you to keep your finger in contact with the screen at all times. Let go for a second and your fish shoots up to the top-right screen corner. Bad luck if a shark is waiting here and you're on your last life. Plus, if you're anything like us, you may get carried away with playing this 'five-minute' timewaster and end up with a rather warm fingertip. We preferred to play with the sensor deactivated, but GameLinkMe should have tucked away this option in a settings menu.