Fishing has never looked so friendly.
I’ve never really been a fan of fishing. I tried going a few times before with my dad, but it was always really hot and sticky outside, and I could never manage to catch anything bigger than my finger. You can’t really even talk to anyone while you’re fishing either, for fear of scaring all the fish away. Now virtual fishing, on the other hand, is definitely more my speed: where I can cast my line from the comfort of my couch and with the air conditioning on full blast as I wait for something to bite. And that’s why I’m so excited about FISHAO, which looks to bring the core concepts of fishing to the social gaming scene.
FISHAO (which stands for Fish Always Online), is a massively-multiplayer online social game about fishing. In the game, players can meet new friends around the lake and bond over one of life’s greatest pastimes: fishing! But one thing the developers want to make clear about their upcoming fishy community is that FISHAO is not just another one of those simple point-and-click puzzle games that have overrun the waters of the Facebook App Center lately. No, FISHAO is described as “a true cute-looking open world fishing MMO,” with the vast depth and scope of Animal Crossing, and the addictive collecting aspect of a Pokemon game.
The cutesy fishing MMO is said to feature real-time gameplay with up to 150 friends at the same time, where you can chat with one another and participate in cooperative-based mini-games. In addition to this, FISHAO also supports full character customization and online competitive tournaments, as well as daily quests, as every fisher works towards completing their “Fishdex” with over 150 different fish types to be found in the game world. But one of the coolest features announced so far about the game is that the appearances of most fish are dependent upon the MMO’s day/night and weather systems. For instance, Creative Director of GamoVation B.V. Daimy Stroeve explains that “a certain type of fish may only be catchable in July, at night.”
Stroeve goes on to describe the larger scope of the fishing MMO, and how the idea really came about in the first place: “Maybe the serious part of fishing is not suitable for everyone, but at least the surprise factor of fishing can be fun for everyone … The social factor is in addition to the actual fishing part, which is the biggest asset of the game.” We’ve already seen how well that surprise factor of fishing has managed to pay off in recent mobile success stories like Ridiculous Fishing, and I have high hopes that FISHAO will bring more of that same underwater intrigue.
The open beta of the game is set to begin this summer on Facebook and the official FISHAO website, which currently hosts the debut trailer that shows off the game’s bright and sunny graphics (and lots of fish of course!). At least now I’ll be able to browse my Facebook newsfeed while I fish without fear of scaring away the day’s catch.