If there ever was a game that does exactly what it says on the tin, then it’s Dynamite Fishing from Handy Games – the latest title to make its way from your mobile phone to the Xbox One.
It literally is just a fishing game where you use dynamite instead of a rod, review over! Well, okay, there is a little bit more to it than that but I am sure you get the picture.
For those who have never experienced this game on any other format, its origins are immediately obvious; the developers have done very little to adapt this game from mobile platforms to console other than adding physical controls. So if you have played this game before then you will know what to expect; there are no obvious upgrades with the move to Xbox One. When you start the game you don’t even get any real options to choose from, as everything is locked, you just grab the controller and get going. This does give you an idea of what there is to see if you progress though – a series of wacky characters with their own unique boats and an assortment of different level types. The character you start with is an American redneck who sails in a bath.
The goal of the game is pretty simple – as you would expect from a mobile conversion – you use your dynamite to kill the fish by throwing it from your boat, collect the corpses and then make to the finish line. If you manage to collect more fish than your opponent then you win, simple as that. Dynamite can be thrown in different ways; directly down, medium distance or long and the fish continuously move so you have to do plenty of chasing. As the game goes on you also get all sorts of different types of fish including ones that require multiple hits, ones that do everything to avoid you and even a gangster fish with a machine gun! This is where it gets a little more interesting as your boat also takes damage; if it gets sunk then you automatically lose.
As well as the fish giving you grief, you can also take damage from your opponent’s dynamite and the barrels of TNT that float along the river from time to time – although the latter can be destroyed before you reach them. Your boat can also jump to avoid various hazards that block your path and to collect the bonus coins which more often than not require very precise jumps to collect. The layout of the levels does vary with different tides, waterfalls and unique terrain surrounding the river.
Probably the most interesting part of the game is the power-ups, as some of these are nothing short of crazy. These upgrades can be added to your boat before you start a level (in a limited quantity of course) or they can be collected when you see them floating along the water. These power-ups include a crazy cat that jumps in the water and furiously savages all the fish, a toaster that electrocutes all our aquatic friends and even a nuclear missile! These add a lot of fun to the game and testing each one for the first time certainly brought a smile to my face.
Once you unlock a power-up you can add it to your boat before starting a level by purchasing with the coins you collect. You unlock everything on the game (power-ups, boats, characters etc.) by getting gold medals on each stage. The big problem is that some of these require so many medals that, by my maths, you will actually need to play some of these stages hundreds of times to unlock the very best ones. So there is a very strong chance that you will never get to see many of the cool characters, crafts and upgrades that the game has to offer.
The graphical style of the game is nice with lots of attention paid to keeping the game humorous; it’s almost just a playable cartoon and you can’t help but think that the designers were inspired by the likes of Road Runner and Bugs Bunny. The sound kind of keeps to this style, but is less noteworthy, and after this it just starts to decline somewhat. The biggest problem with Dynamite Fishing is the amount of grinding you are going to have to do to get anywhere and on a console game that is just a big no-no for me. You expect it on mobile phone games as they are usually free and are trying to get you to make in-app purchases, but on a console it really spoils the enjoyment of game; I mean how many times exactly do you want to play the same level just to get a cool new boat?
If you enjoyed Dynamite Fishing: World Games on mobile then no doubt you will like it here, although I would argue it’s better suited to the former. It offers a brief slice of entertainment through its wacky gameplay, but otherwise there really isn’t enough here to recommend Dynamite Fishing. That said, my nine year old son did enjoy it, so perhaps it’s one best suited to younger gamers.