Fishing Joy II, the follow-up to the casual arcade game from PunchBox, is now available from the app store. Featuring pretty undersea backdrops teeming with a variety of maritime fauna and a quirky coin-collecting mechanic that uses a variable reward structure, Fishing Joy II has the looks but lacks the excitement to keep us interested for very long.
Fishing Joy II Pros:
- Great underwater visuals and realistic fish movements
- Soundtrack is relaxing muzak, great for the laidback game style
- Tap controls are easy to use
- Various fish values, coin multipliers, and mix of weapons help to mix up earned values of captured fish
Fishing Joy II Cons:
- Capturing mechanic too unpredictable to find sustained enjoyment
- Environments don’t offer much variety
- No social gaming network integration
At launch, Fishing Joy II provides access to two locations: Coral Reef and Blue Coast, which only becomes unlocked when you level up to the fifth level. Fish of all types and sizes lazily enter one side of the screen or the other, passing in front of your cannon fixed at the center of the screen bottom. You ammo is rated numerically, indicating how many of your stash of coins will be used for each shot. As you progress, you unlock new ammo levels, which can be switched quickly by tapping the plus or minus sign on either side of your weapon. You fire into the schools by tapping the target location on the screen. Most shots will be landed, but only a few will actually capture any fish and earn you more coins. The amount of coins depends on the type of fish, a fixed amount for each. Using stronger ammo and risking more coins rewards you in kind with a greater amount of chips based on your current multiplier, which can also be increased by spending a few coins. There doesn’t appear to be an overt reason for which shots will capture fish. Instead, the game appears to work on a variable-reward system, much like a slot machine. It’s simply not clear how or why things happen as they do, which diminishes the overall excitement that could potentially be derived from the title. Instead, the game devolves quickly into lazy, aimless shooting for the sake of wasting time while enjoying some nice visuals, catchy muzak, and the occasional shower of coins or influx of money when you “level up” or snag a big fish.
Graphically, we liked the look of the seascapes, even though there wasn’t a lot of difference between the two environments. Animations were smooth and the fish behaved realistically. The different weapons have unique appearances, so it’s easy to tell them apart. When big fish are captured, a shower of coins appears, offering a rewarding feeling, however fleeting it may be. Special cards are given on occasion that offer cool one-time bonuses, like mini-games or puffer fish that bounce around screen and increase your chance of a big score. The soundtrack is relaxing elevator music, with sci-fi sound effects coming from your weapon. The controls are strictly tap-based, but they worked well enough. Replay value was not great, as we just couldn’t get on board with the lack of direct understanding of when and why fish were captured. Using up all of your coins forces you to wait for a time-based replenishment or IAP packs of coins. There is no leaderboard or achievement system to add replay incentive, either. At $0.99 (or the same price for the iPad-specific version), Fishing Joy II is a 3-Dimple offering.
Fishing Joy II Review,