Somtimes simple is better.
Animal Crossing. World of Warcraft. Neither of these games can be described as simple, but they both worked really hard to make their mini-games easy to understand and play. Nintendo and Blizzard both realized that gamers want different experiences in their games - not all of which have to be "challenging". World of Warcraft and Animal Crossing had deep but simple fishing games included in their worlds. I spent many hours while sitting in front of the television, pulling fish out of their digital waters. The App Store has never really had a fishing experience that matched that simple fun - giving iOS gamers a way to pass the time without being too demanding. Until Now. Indy developer Kestral Games has landed the big one with "Rule with an Iron Fish".
Iron Fish is a hybrid of role playing and fishing. The pirate themed story guides you through several unique fishing holes, catching humorously named fish out to meet various quest goals. Completing quests progress the story by unlocking new fishing spots, equipment and plans for crafting boats or meals that buff you wile you fish. Pretty standard RPG stuff, but what sets Iron Fish apart from the rest is its perfect mobile experience - role playing never handcuffs you to goals - its layed back, just like fishing should be. Spend a day at your favorite fishing hole just pulling fish and lining your pockets with gold or grind through quests to complete the story. As an open ended game, the decision is entirely yours.
Controls are spot-on. Fishing is a timed tap and reeling in a fish is a series of simple directional swipes. No crazy reeling on-screen or moving your phone in crazy directions to pull the fish in. Nope. This is a game you can play on the train or sitting in bed at night winding down from a hectic day. This isn't a game about winning or losing, it's more about just being there. You never even really fail at anything and it's pretty hard to even lose a fish on the line.
Iron Fish is a game that should have come to the App Store a long time ago. The genre has been plagued with complicated mechanics and in-app currencies marring the experience. Not here - this is a premium game with great design and no in-app purchases. It is well thought out and a great way to relax. Kestral mhas promised some enhancements are coming soon including iPad support. I can' trait to see this beautiful game on a bigger screen. See you at the fishing hole.