Pocket Fishing review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Developer: Ultimate Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

While fishing is hardly the most exciting sport in the world, there’s no reason why it would be an inherently dull or bad video game. Games like Dredge and Dave the Diver have won all kinds of acclaim for their takes on the genre. Final Fantasy has lengthy tutorials about how to get the most out of fishing in FFXV. Even a game as mediocre as Isle of Jura Fishing Trip was kind of enjoyable when it came down to the fishing – it was everything else about the game that was kind of lousy.

I’m saying all this up front because apparently no one ever told the makers of Pocket Fishing that fishing games don’t have to be painfully boring. Somehow, despite the fact that we have decades of examples of how to make fishing games that are, at the very least, pleasant and relaxing, this game can’t even get the basics right, and the end result is a game to be avoided at all costs.

The problems can be summed up with two words: terrible controls. Just think of the most annoying, awkward controls imaginable, and you’ve got some idea of what to expect here. See, despite the fact the Switch has a touchscreen, Pocket Fishing really wants you to use buttons. Not only that, it wants you to use the right stick as a cursor while also using the face buttons at the same time, which means that not only do you have to slowly drag the cursor across the screen while the game is shouting at you to reel in your fish, you also have to press down on the A button, which means you’re basically holding the Joy-cons right on the edge – a move that feels unnatural, and doubly so if you’re playing in handheld mode. Couple that with sudden shifts to start jamming other face buttons and shoulder buttons, and you’re left wondering why the game didn’t just implement touch controls.

If, for some reason, the tutorial doesn’t put you off Pocket Fishing immediately, and you figure out how to get used to the horrible controls, it should be noted that there’s a decent amount of content. There are five different settings to fish in, and the game has day-night cycles, which means you can try your hand at fishing in slightly different environments.

Or, more accurately, it means you get to fight against the awkward controls against five different backdrops. And really, there’s no reason for that. The Switch has plenty of fishing games on offer, so there’s no need to waste your time with one as frustrating and dull as Pocket Fishing.

Ultimate Games provided us with a Pocket Fishing Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Score: 3