“Spoons” represent how energy-intensive a game is based on my experience. It does not reflect my personal opinion about the game or its quality. You can read more about my “spoons” and other ratings considerations here.
Real VR Fishing was one of the first games I bought when I started on my VR journey, and easily the game that I recommend the most (besides Beat Saber). The photorealistic graphics showcase just how incredible VR technology has become. No matter how many hours I have logged in this game, I am still in awe of how detailed everything is. I’ll stop fishing just to look down at the texture on my gloves or watch a perfectly animated flock of birds dance in the sky overhead. Then, my controller vibrates sharply alerting me of a bite on the line, and my focus is snapped back to the task at hand!
Stunning graphics aside, the gameplay itself is fantastic. I grew up with a fishing pond in my front yard, so I know a thing or two about fishing in real life. This game does an excellent job of simulating the experience in VR.
There are three different difficulty settings; normal, hard, and expert, with each difficulty mode offering a slightly different fishing experience. “Normal” mode has excellent tools for beginners, showing you exactly where the fish are in the water and includes a visual aid to assist in reeling in the catch. Expert mode is the most realistic of the three, and you earn more experience points for fishing in this mode.
Fishing is a great way to unwind, and this game offers even more features to add to the relaxation, such as an in-game MP3 player that allows you to import and play your own music, and a web browser that you can use to bring just about any website to your fishing experience. One of my favorite things to do is relax on the ocean shore, casting lines while bingeing TV shows on Hulu, watching my friends stream on Twitch, and catching up on YouTube videos.
The gameplay and graphics are excellent, but the social features deserve high praise as well! You can create or join a multiplayer room with up to four players, with the option to make your room private by requiring a password. I always have a good time entering into a random public room and chatting with whoever is there. It’s a great way to socialize, fighting that isolation some of us spoonies know all too well, and I’ve even made some lasting friendships this way! While you’re bound to encounter a kid here and there in any multiplayer VR experience, the game’s largest demographic seems to be retirees and folks with disabilities, like myself. Everyone I have encountered has been wonderful and accepting. This game seems to attract the best of the VR community!
The video in this “tweet” includes my smart-ass IRL friends.
There are also leaderboards and monthly “fishing seasons” to encourage friendly competition between players with unique prizes rewarded to the top 10 players in each category at the end of the season in the form of medals displayed in your personal lodge and cosmetic items, like unique styles of fishing gloves!
This is a very relaxing game, but it does require enough movement that I had to give this at least two spoons. Depending on how you choose to play this game, it could be more taxing. The developers were kind enough to include a one-handed feature, so you do not have to make the “reeling in” motion with your other hand. I decided to rate this as two spoons based on one-handed mode. I normally play with both controllers, and I would consider that to be about three spoons instead considering the fast and repetitive circular movement.
Even if you don’t necessarily have enough “spoons” to fish at all, it’s still nice to launch the game just to unwind at the shore and watch some TV by yourself surrounded by the relaxing scenes and sounds of nature, or chill and chat with folks in a multiplayer room.
The developers put a lot of thought into making their game as accessible as possible. You can easily play while seated, as there is a height adjustment option in the game’s settings. As I mentioned before, there is also a one-handed mode that allows you to enjoy the game with just one controller. This is a great addition for folks who can only play one-handed or anyone who would be worn out too easily by the repetitive circular motion that would otherwise be required to reel in the line. In one-handed mode, you still have to flick your wrist to yank the line to “snap” the fish that jump, but other than that, movement is fairly minimal. You just have to press the trigger button to reel in the line.
This game’s accessibility could be improved by including automated speech recognition (ASR) to display captioning in multiplayer rooms so that users who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing can also participate in the social aspects of the game. As always, I am eager to advocate for the ability to play all VR games while lying flat on your back so folks who are severely bed bound can join us in VR. You CAN play this game while seated and even leaning back a fair amount, but you can not effectively play this while lying horizontally, though I suppose lying on the beach and looking up at the sky is still pretty nice in this game! I have done that once or twice, myself.
Considering the awesome multiplayer function and the friendly competition awarded by the leaderboards, this game deserves no less than all five stars in this category. This game has a robust community full of enthusiastic anglers who just love to cast lines and chat with strangers and friends alike. There is also a very active Facebook group created by the developers for their players to share experiences and connect with one another outside of the game. It is genuinely one of the best VR communities I have found, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.
I almost rated replayability at five stars, but at this moment it really has only earned four stars until they release more maps and content for players to unlock. The new maps have been announced and are on the way, but currently the unlockable content is very limited. Despite that, the competition in the leaderboards each month still earns this game high marks in this category! The dev team is great about staying in contact with the player base, which helps a lot with keeping the community engaged and excited about upcoming additions.
Five stars. Easy. Have you SEEN those graphics? I don’t feel like this even needs an explanation, but I’ll do my best to elaborate anyway. The photorealistic environments are stunning at each and every fishing location in the game. The attention to detail the artists have included are truly beautiful. Every map has something unique to offer, from rain that ripples the surface of the water so realistically you can almost smell it, to the wildlife that you can sometimes find passing by in the water or overhead. There are random events that come and go as well, such as fireworks, cherry blossoms gently blowing in the breeze, or a double rainbow! Even the textures on your fishing gear are a beautiful sight to behold. The sound composition is absolutely fantastic as well. Just well done overall. Kudos to the developers for making such a beautiful escape from reality!
I will be recording a narration of this article as soon as I get the chance to do so! Hopefully by Monday. Thanks for your patience!