Cat Goes Fishing
Developer: Cat5Games | Publisher: Cat5Games | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Casual / Fishing / Indie | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam
Cat Goes Fishing by Cat5Games is a casual indie game about a cat catching fishing. The game appears to be based on a prototype Flash game from a few years back, called Fishing Girl, and features a simple, but very addictive gameplay loop. Starting with a very basic fishing rod, players must catch fish to earn money and gain experience. These can then be used to unlock new rods, upgrades for the rods as well as consumables that provide once-off benefits. Eventually, the cat will even be able to afford boats that allow it to venture out into deeper water where the biggest and most valuable fish reside.
From a gameplay perspective, players must cast their lure into the water then attempt to position it in such a way that they hook a fish. The fish can then be reeled in and sold for money or kept on the line to use as bait. As simple as this is, there are quite a few things that can go wrong along the way. Casting requires some skill to get the line to go where you want it to be as you have to time each cast correctly. Things become even trickier in the water as you’ll want to steer your bait away from the fish that you don’t want and towards the ones you do. Even after hooking a fish, you are not out of the woods yet as bigger fish will take bites from smaller ones that you have hooked if you get too close to them. On “Classic” mode this is all you have to worry about, but bumping the difficulty up to “Realism” mode adds an additional twist. Here your line can snap if too much tension is placed on it, which is something that every fish you catch will attempt to do. Playing in “Realism” mode makes for harder and more satisfying catches, but can also be more frustrating. There are a couple of fish in particular that can make your life very difficult if you don’t know how to deal with them, but we will leave that up to players to discover themselves.
Visually Cat Goes Fishing is as simple as can be with basic 2D sprites for your cat and the variety of fish that can be caught. Everything is viewed from a side-on perspective and the camera follows your lure down as it is cast into the water. There are plenty of different fish lurking about, but the game features very little in the way of animations. The way in which the fish dart about almost makes them look like cardboard cut-outs, but this just adds to the charm. There are no visual options to tweak in the game, though, and even getting it to play correctly in full-screen mode requires the editing of config files for some players, which is a pity. The same goes for the music and sound effects, which are very simple. We did like how the cat would let out an angry “meow” if you reel in a half-eaten or skeletal fish.
Controlling the fishing is as easy as holding down the left mouse button to begin swinging your rod backward and then letting go to cast. Timing it right will see your lure flying through the air before splashing down. Consumables, such as the rocket, can also be used to increase the distance of your cast. Depending on the upgrades you have bought you can make minor adjustments to the movement of your lure underwater and move your boat back and forth using the “A” and “D” keys. The real challenge is dodging some of the more annoying fish and figuring out some of the puzzle elements, like waking up and catching a fish that is sleeping inside a cave guarded by other fish.
Because everything in Cat Goes Fishing costs money and the prices go up rapidly, it can be a very grindy game. It can also be very disheartening to spend a fortune on a consumable only to have it wasted by an annoying fish within seconds of casting it. However, later in the game some of the larger fish are so valuable that catching a few makes money worries a thing of the past. One thing to keep in mind is that fish can only be sold on the shore, so you have to drop your catches in the back of your boat and then row to the shore when you are ready to sell.
To keep things interesting Cat Goes Fishing supplies players with side missions that come with handsome rewards. For example, you might be tasked with sinking your lure past a specified depth or catching a specific fish. These start easy, but eventually, you’ll be required to catch some of the most challenging fishes in the game to beat them. Various hats can also be found floating underwater and reeling these in can grant you additional perks. Your cat can only wear one hat at a time, though, so you’ll need to pick carefully. Our personal favorite was the one that highlighted quest-based fish in red on the sonar, but there are plenty of other useful ones too.
Overall, Cat Goes Fishing is a very quirky game, but it is undeniably addictive. It starts very relaxingly, but by the time you are trying to fish at night during a storm the challenge ramps up drastically. The Steam Achievements also adds an additional challenge to the game and some of them are unique, to say the least. Although we had enough fun with the game to keep playing until getting all of the Steam Achievements some players might get bored or frustrated long before reaching that point. It does feel like a free Flash game at times, but stick with it and you’ll find a lot more depth and secrets than you might think.
- OS: Windows XP
- Processor: 1.66GHz Intel or equivalent AMD processor
- Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Graphics: 256 MB memory
- DirectX: Version 9.0
- Storage: 15 MB available space
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Dual Core or equivalent AMD processor
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: 512 MB memory
- DirectX: Version 9.0
- Storage: 15 MB available space