A game a about a girl, a boy, and an ocean full of fish. Fishing Girl is an arcade fishing game with over 10 different fish to catch and 8 rod and lure upgrades.
One of the great things about Xbox Indies, albeit to the possible disdain of those who create the games on the service, is having an eight minute demo timer standard. While this allows people to try any game for free to reduce the likelihood of getting burned by a purchase, it also enables users to fully enjoy certain titles without having to purchase them. Fishing Girl is just such a game, and players will be able to go complete the game's primary goal well before the timer expires. While it's definitely Ninja Train short from start to finish, Fishing Girl does offer achievement badges to entice people to replay the game and add some longevity to the game.
Thankfully, Fishing Girl is charming enough to warrant a purchase both as a casual friendly experience but also to support what is a nice albeit simple Xbox Indie game which offers some artistic merit both with its presentation and theme. Fishing Girl is the story of two close Jigglypuff clones separated when the island one of the Jigglypuff lives on floats away. Thus, is up to the pink Fishing Girl to save her brown companion armed only with her wits and her tackle box. Gameplay is as simple as can be: the player holds the A button to cast off and then holds the button again (tapping for large fish) to reel in the catch. That's it. That's the game. I can beat Fishing Girl with my toe.
Of course, there's some light planning involved in this rescue. Fishing Girl only has a lure capable of catching the small fish swimming in the waters, but a floating store will provide all of the necessary lures and rods she will need to save the boy. While the player can skip over some of the available lure types, winning means saving up for the Legendary Rod and requires many fish to be caught. Each fish has its own value, and the larger and rarer the fish, the more money Jigglypuff earns to buy her upgrades. For example, if a Medium Lure is equipped, then Fishing Girl can catch the medium sized fish but small ones will not bit while large ones will cut the line. Everything's rather self explanatory, and although larger fish may break the line from time to time, Fishing Girl is devoid of challenge. It is meant to be a relaxing game, and even the ten minute timer can be turned off if the 30 second time bonus per caught fish still manages to be too stressful for the player.
Eric Woroshow developed Fishing Girl as part of Daniel Cook's Game Prototyping Challenge in which Cook outlined a game and provided art assets for people to construct a fishing game for his wife. Fishing Girl is a peaceful game backed by audio composed of only the light sounds of fishing, from the light plop of the lure as it hits the water and muted chomp of a cut line. This Xbox Indie version of Fishing Girl lacks the short repetitive newage soundtrack of Woroshow's Flash prototype and is better for it as the console rendition is more natural and less forced with its feeling. The Xbox Indie gameplay also offers a superior experience, one less stressful as its Flash ancestor and offering a few more options along the way.
It's difficult to complain when a game is only a dollar, more so when a game can be experienced in its entirety for free, leaving a purchaser with no excuse for making a poor decision. Fishing Girl is a cute and perhaps moving game which asks players to relax and enjoy its novel rescue operation. It succeeds at providing just such an experience, and although I can wish that the game were better modeled and animated or that it had some more meat on its bones, I can't fault Fishing Girl for achieving what it sets out to do. Fishing Girl is a nice, ambient game with a demo that gives players no excuse to skip out on rescuing the poor boy at least once before considering a purchase.