Fishing is one of those things you can do in several games, with any given game taking a different approach with it than others. As a player myself, I like taking notes on how similar things have been done differently across different media, and fishing mini-games fit the bill.
Note that in the following games, the fishing is just one thing you can do – a mini-game if you will, rather than the game’s focus.
Fishing in Minecraft is a simple affair. Getting two strings from a spider and three sticks, you can craft a fishing rod, which normally lasts for 64 uses. To fish, you simply cast your line into the water, and wait for a trail of bubble particles to approach the hook, then when the hook gets pulled underwater, reel. If you reel any earlier or later, you won’t get a catch. This works for any water body of any size, even 1×1 water bodies.
Fishing is useful for obtaining fish, a food source that doesn’t require you to build farms, but it’s incredibly useful for gaining experience and fishing treasures like enchanted books and saddles. Fishing is even more productive with an enchanted fishing rod, which can make the rod last forever with Mending and Unbreaking, make it catch fish faster with Lure, or consistently catch more treasure with Luck of the Sea. Many players create “fishing farms,” which exploit the mechanics of fishing through means of automation! If traditional fishing isn’t your cup of tea, you can always try catching live fishes with buckets, which can be found in rivers and oceans as of Update Aquatic.
Sea of Thieves
Like with Minecraft, you cast your line and wait patiently for a fish to appear and play with your bobber – you can even tell what type of fish it is before catching it! But that’s where the similarities end. In Sea of Thieves, once the fish takes the bait, you will have to fight it by moving in the opposite direction of where it’s fleeing while also gently reeling back in, otherwise the line will break and the fish will escape.
There are various types of fish to catch, including rare fishes which can be sold to a special vendor at a high price. You can cook them to heal yourself when needed. In addition, it’s possible to fish up keys that can be used to unlock special chests, and gain standing with The Hunter’s Call company and unlock different cosmetics. However, other pirates might go after what you caught, so you should be on your guard!
Far Cry 5
In Far Cry 5, you don’t wait until a fish takes the bait. You must slowly reel the line in to entice the fish into taking the bait. You will see ripples in the water moving towards your hook when successful. Once the bait is taken, you will reel the line while moving opposite the fish’s movement, like Sea of Thieves. If you pull too much, you will almost break your line, indicated by the line changing color. To make fishing easier, you can buy different kinds of fishing rods.
Various types of fish can be found in different regions, including lakes and rivers, and some are very hard to find and catch. If you catch all fish, you get rewarded with a special fishing rod. However, the fishing isn’t rewarding in Far Cry 5, as you can only sell the fish for a small price compared to other activities in the game.
Stardew Valley has you cast the reel into nearly any body of water and wait for a catch to tug on the line, indicated with a sound effect and an exclamation mark. If it’s a junk item, you will instantly pull it out of the water, but if it’s a fish, you get to fight it! In the fight interface, you must keep the fish icon in the green rectangle so it can fill up the bar on the right. On some occasions, a treasure chest appears in the interface, which you can catch in addition to the fish by keeping the rectangle under it, but you lose both the treasure and the fish if the right bar is emptied! If the fish never leaves the rectangle at any time, you will get a Perfect catch which is the only way to get iridium quality fish in the fish as of the 1.4 update!
To make the job easier, you can buy better fishing rods when you level up in fishing. This allows you to use any quantity of bait to speed up the catches, you also use different kinds of spinners, both of which only have limited uses and can be changed whenever exhausted. Outside of traditional fishing, you can use crab pots to catch crabs and other water goodies overnights.
One of the most outlandish ideas SEGA and Sonic Team had for the Sonic games in 1998 was to introduce a character whose entire gameplay revolves around fishing his pet Froggy out of the water. Big the Cat’s story does fit in with the overarching tale of Sonic Adventure, but the gameplay was the least fitting. That said, the game’s fishing on its own is not disappointing!
After casting the reel, you must move the line and reel the bait to attract the fish or Froggy. Because you don’t have a bobber, the bait will sink. Once the bait is taken, a “HIT!” message will appear and the very energetic fight music starts. You fight the fish with either slow or fast reeling, in both cases, you must not reel too much (indicated by the fishing bar almost filling up and sound warnings) or else the line will break and you will lose a life. Most fishes are challenging, and they can “dash” during which you can’t reel. When you catch a fish, its weight is added to your score, with the heaviest fish being about 2 kilograms. There are four stages that Big can fish in alongside a boss fight, and he can search the Adventure Fields for upgrades to catch heavier fishes, which makes earning the game’s emblems easier.
In five different games, fishing is one of the things you can do, but each one takes a different approach. Some require you to wait for the fish to take the bait, some require you to entice them by moving the bait around. Most require you to fight the fish, some just hand the catches to you. Some are very rewarding with fishing, some not so. But most importantly, they all have their takes on fishing, and seeing the differences among games in similar activities is another thing that makes them interesting.
Thanks to Daniel Holmer for help with compiling info and screenshots for the article, particularly for the Sea of Thieves and Far Cry 5 segments!
Interested in aquatic themed games? You can read my review of Resquid here!