Every now and then, there comes a game that blows you out of the water. Literally, this time: Ridiculous Fishing is a game where you fish, then haul your catch up to the surface, then... blow it all to bits and pieces. Yup, catch fish and then shoot'em up. The weirdest part? It's just crazy addictive.
You can think of Ridiculous Fishing as made up of a number of mini-games you play in succession: First, you drop your bait into the sea. In this part you need to get as deep as possible, by evading fish along the way. Then you ascend to the surface, catching as many fish as you can along the way (taking care to avoid jellyfish!). Finally, when your fish make it to the surface, they leap into the air, which is when you shoot them to bits!
Lather, rinse, repeat. Throw your bait in the water, get as deep as you can, reel fish in, shoot them up. But there's something in this simple sequence of actions that just makes it incredibly addictive. For starters, there are the awesome power-ups: Each part of the sequence gets its own power-ups. So you can have better baits that allow you to drill through fish (culminating in a Swiss-made one, which we just loved). And you can also get longer reels of line, to get deeper into the ocean, and increasingly larger tanks of fuel for your powered bait. Then you can get better weapons, so you can shoot more fish when they make it to the surface. There's even a line of increasingly fancy clothes you can wear to get ever-increasing prices for your fish.
As you work through the game, you collect more and more species of fish, gradually opening up new maps. Each new map contains new species, and lets you get ever deeper (assuming you have a long enough line, that is). So while basic gameplay is repetitive, the quick succession of power-ups and new maps revealed make for a sense of progress -- this is a game you can actually finish, unlike Tiny Wings or endless runners.
The graphics are pixel-tastic, and are beautifully colorful. The different species of fish are easy to make out, even though they're all just flat pixelated sprites. The controls are great, too: You control your line by tilting the phone left and right (which was very responsive on my device), and activate your powered bait by pressing and holding the screen.
It's not easy to pinpoint what exactly makes a game great, but the two things that really stand out when it comes to Ridiculous Fishing are the excellent gameplay, and the fun power-up system. This is a game that's well worth getting -- if you don't mind losing sleep over it, that is.