iFishing gets remade in a fashionable hand-drawn style

Another activity gets “Doodled.” This time it’s fishing’s turn to get the popular prefix. As with other games in this loose conglomeration of titles from various unrelated developers, Doodle Fishing is a chirpy, easy going game with simple controls and a charming hand-drawn style.

It has to be said that the popularity of fishing games is something of a surprise – at least to me. Can you think of anything further removed from the instant thrills of gaming than a sport that requires hours of doing absolutely nothing?

Perhaps that’s where the success of games like Flick Fishing lies. The best examples take all the boring stuff out (including much of the dead time) and exaggerate all the fun bits – the tactile stuff such as the casting and reeling processes. Doodle Fishing, which is effectively a reskin of the popular iFishing, follows this principle to a tee.

Doodle Fishing Doodle Fishing

Having entered the main tournament mode to catch as much of a single variety of fish as possible, you find yourself in a little fishing boat on a pleasant lake. By touching the screen you can dictate the direction and speed of your craft, or alternatively you can set the throttle and steer manually via the controls at the bottom of the screen. Controlling your boat feels a little like trying to hold a freshly caught fish, but as this isn’t Doodle Fishing Boat Captain we’ll let it slide.

The bottom of the screen is also where you’ll find your sonar system, which helps you to decide where to stop and cast your line out. Rather than a literal representation of the individual fish, a large fish icon here means that you’ll have a greater chance of snagging something slippery.

Once you’ve decided to fish a particular area it’s on to the nitty-gritty of catching the critters. Touching the bottom of the screen, then physically “casting” your iPhone and releasing (the screen, not the iPhone) sends your line out, with a “luck” gauge displaying the odds of a catch. This can be affected by the area you’re in, the quantity of fish in the area and the type of lure you’re using.

If you get a bite, a swift tug upwards of your iPhone will hook the fish. Holding the bottom of the screen starts the reeling in process, with a slider determining the speed. You’ll need to pay close attention to a line tension gauge, as if it strays too far into the red your line will inevitably snap.

I have to say that despite the popularity of Doodle Fishing‘s parent game, iFishing, I found the core fish-catching system here to be a little flimsy. Flicking your handset to deliver the line is a hit and miss affair, particularly when it comes to judging distances.

Doodle Fishing Doodle Fishing

Other faults include the tournament structure, which is needlessly annoying. Unlocking the next fishing destination involves money rather than a simple win of the preceding tournament, which can mean that you need to play a tournament multiple times in order to raise the necessary funds. Given the lengthy, repetitive nature of each session, that can prove to be a little tiresome.

It wouldn’t have been such an issue if there was greater variety between the tournaments. Alas, if you’ve seen one crudely sketched lake, you’ve seen them all, and iFishing‘s detailed presentation is sorely missed.

To return to a positive note, the inclusion of a Bluetooth multiplayer mode for up to four players is a welcome one. Having said that, fishing is arguably one sport where high score one-upmanship is as compelling as simultaneous play.

Doodle Fishing is a jolly enough game, but the developer seems to think that attaching the currently en vogue Doodle aesthetic to its aging iFishing engine will be enough to lure gamers in. It may be, but this particular fish ain’t biting.