Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption and a Guy Named Billy

I got this friend, Billy. Billy has a sordid past, and he’s looking for redemption. He’s going to find redemption by chainsawing a bunch of fish and then blowing them away with an Uzi. Okay, so I’m not really clear on the details, and I can’t say I understand why slaughtering a bunch of fish is going to make it all better for Billy, but that’s the premise of Ridiculous Fishing.

A sequel to the Flash game Radical Fishing, the folks at Vlambeer have been refining Ridiculous Fishing for the last two years. Was all that effort worth it? Spoiler alert, yes, it was totally worth it, but you should probably still read the review, anyway.

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Gone Fishin’

You start off as just a man, a man named Billy, in a boat. You’ve got a rod and reel, a gun, and a cell phone made out of driftwood. So you’re pretty much good to go. Drop your line in the water, but you’re not trying to catch fish, at least not yet. This isn’t the sort of fishing you did at camp, so forget everything you thought you knew. This is ridiculous fishing. Instead of just catching the first trout that shows a passing interest in your lure — Billy calls that “sucker fishing”— you want to let your line fall as deep into the water as possible. Tilt your iPhone back and forth to avoid snagging a fish.

That fishing sure is ridiculous.

That fishing sure is ridiculous.

When your line runs out or you accidentally hook a live one, whichever comes first, you’re going to starting reeling in. Forget all that stuff about avoiding fish on the way down, now. Try to snare as many fish as you can as you reel your line in. A lot of fish is good, and lots of different species is even better. Swing your line back and forth by tilting you iPhone left and right, and aim for the big, weird looking fish. The bigger and weirder, the better.

As soon as your line makes it to sea level, all of your hooked fish are going to go flying into the air, and if you want to keep them, you’re going to have to do something about that. Draw your weapon and start shooting. Some of the fish you caught are going to be pretty resilient and will take more than one hit, and others are going to be somersaulting hundreds of meters into the air. You’ve got unlimited ammo, though, so you’re not bothered. You could keep shooting ridiculous fish for days.

Get as many fish as you can on the way up.

Get as many fish as you can on the way up.

Each fish has a price on its head, a market value. The further down your line goes, the more valuable the fish become. You won’t see a penny from those fish though, if you don’t shoot them; hauling your catch over the side of the boat may be good enough for some, but it’s not what Billy’s after. He’s looking for redemption, and he can only get that after selling a fish that he’s shot out of the air himself. I’ll be honest with you, Billy’s a complicated soul.

Market Price

Once you’ve sold a bunch of fish, you’ll have enough money to visit the store, and there are some really nice upgrades there. There’s more than one chainsaw lure to help you power through all the fish that swim between you and deepsea glory. If you’ve got a chainsaw, you’ll need to keep it gassed up, and fuel upgrades mean you’ll spend less time watching your gas meter and more time destroying crabs and eels. You’re going to need a longer line, too, if you ever want to reach the ocean floor, so expect to pour some of that fish money into better reels.

Shoot fish for money, which you use to buy cool stuff.

Shoot fish for money, which you use to buy cool stuff.

Yeah, I said fish money. Everything is bought and paid for with Billy’s earnings. There aren’t any super special rod buffs that are only available for a $0.99 in app purchase. In fact, once you’ve bought the game, don’t expect to have to spend any more real money at all. If you want those upgrades, though — and you will want those upgrades — you’re going to have to do some fishing.

Message in a Bottle

Billy has a wooden phone that lets him connect to the sporting goods store where you buy all the fishing upgrades, and a social media app called Byrdr. Billy regularly posts to his Byrdr account as @RodAndGunMan, and you can actually follow him on Twitter if you want. There’s a story to Ridiculous Fishing, all that redemption stuff I keep talking about, if you pay attention to Byrdr. There’s even an ending, and you’ll be rewarded with a special endless level if you make it that far.

Billy keeps in touch with his Byrdr contacts, and that's how you can follow the story.

Billy keeps in touch with his Byrdr contacts, and that’s how you can follow the story.

The story is really something you can choose to opt-out of, if you want. Ridiculous Fishing is addicting, and I easily fall into hour-long Ridiculous Fishing holes, rare for me with an iPhone game. I usually use my phone for short bursts to relieve boredom while I’m waiting in line, not as a gaming destination. If you’re like me and get sucked into Ridiculous Fishing for long stretches, you’ll probably want to find out whether Billy ever gets redeemed or not, but if you’re like the other me and mostly just kill time with iPhone games, you’ll be fine catching fish, blasting them to oblivion, and ignoring the story altogether.

Final Thoughts

Go download Ridiculous Fishing. That’s my “final thought.” It’s incredibly fun in a bizarre and unexpected way. If you’re still on the fence though, there’s more to Ridiculous Fishing than absurdity. It takes a lot of skill to avoid the fish as your line makes its way down, you have to manage your fuel and you’ll want to be careful on your way up not to catch the fish that actually seem to charge you money to kill them.

Sure it’s ridiculous, but it’s also challenging and rewarding in equal measure. And if you happen to be into bizarre and unexpected fun, Ridiculous Fishing fits the bill. It’s such a great game, with a bang on sense of humor and graphics to match, it’s a must download.


Summary

Is it the best combination fishing/shooting game ever? Yeah, it is.

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