Deep Sea Trophy Fishing
Ahh, the great deep sea fishing trips of my youth. Fond memories of braving the uncivilized elements of the Pacific Ocean, awakening at a time of the morning that I would normally be pondering the thought of going to bed, just for the outside chance of hooking that elusive derby winner, that mysterious denizen of the deep. WizardWorks has released its latest creation in the Trophy Hunter/Fisher series, Deep Sea Trophy Fishing. Unfortunately, it fails miserably in recreating any of the aspects of a deep sea fishing experience.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
You begin by choosing one of four possible charter boats: O’Malley’s Shark Charter, Big Blue Marlin Charter, Silver Squall Tuna Boat, or Castaway Charter Group. Don’t let the boat pictures and names fool you; it makes no difference which boat you choose. Once you begin your fixed view out from the stern, there is no graphical difference between the boats, other than a placard showing the name of the charter company.
Your first step before the fishing starts is to choose your bait. There are 10 different choices here, and what you choose will have a major bearing on what fish you will catch. For example, choosing herring as bait will usually catch a Bluefish, Wahoo, or Swordfish. The next step is to cast your line into the water. Keep in mind that you are trolling, so casting is futile! Nonetheless, I must oblige. Now is the time to wait for a hit. To break the monotony, you can choose to throw a handful of chum into the water to attract a fish; however, it doesn’t seem to have any real effect. Once you get a fish on, it’s a matter of holding down the mouse button to reel in your catch. Sound simple? It is, but it is also rather boring after the first fish. This game could have been much better. The charter boat trolls in a straight line in a featureless horizon.
There is no boat speed or direction control, no fish finder/depth sounder, no map or coordinates system, no indication of how much line you have out (other than a close-up of your reel that shows how much line is left in graphic increments). What this game needs is a dose of strategy. The only strategic option was setting the reel speed or tension of your drag, but even this was difficult to master because it was hard to tell if the line was being reeled in or pulled out. After I had caught a couple of fish, I would just set the drag in the default middle tension position, put my line out, get a hit, then prop a book on my mouse button and come back 4-5 minutes later to see what I caught!
Your view out the back of the boat is fixed, and the boat trolls straight throughout the whole game. About every three minutes a bell buoy goes by, or another boat will approach and pass your boat. This reminded me of those old car-racing simulations, where the terrain and other cars are painted onto a conveyor belt that eventually starts repeating itself. As you reel in your fish, depending on the species, it may start jumping out of the water, getting closer as you reel it in. This is the only excitement, for lack of a better word, that you will be privileged to experience in this game. Once your catch gets up to the boat, a screen will show the species, size and weight of your catch. No netting or gaffing options exist.
You will hear the sound of birds, buoy bells, water, and the constant hum of the boat's engines. A few lines from the fisherman, such as "Hey, I got a bite," or "Look at him run!" round out the sound elements. No music is present, but even great audio couldn’t save this game!
Windows 95, Pentium 90 (Pentium 120 recommended), DirectX compatible video and sound card, 2X CD-ROM drive, 16 MB RAM, 50 MB free hard disk space, mouse
Consistent with the quality of the program, the documentation is equally inadequate. There is no CD jewel case with this game, but the manual is designed to fit in one. Only about 10 very small pages attempt to explain the basic operations of the game, but they do not explain very much. I was left with many questions.
There are other fishing simulations out there that are much better than this effort. Unfortunately, this game is the only one so far attempting to simulate deep sea fishing, but it completely fails in every aspect of the game. Featureless graphics, inadequate audio and downright boring gameplay make for one good reason to stay on shore. Deep Sea Trophy Fishing is not a keeper and should be thrown back.
Download Deep Sea Trophy Fishing
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP