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A Fisherman’s Tale

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 26 - 2019

Well, that was unexpected.

From a home invasion to what I thought might be a relaxing fishing experience. A Fisherman’s Tale, from Innerspace VR, is not actually a fishing game for PSVR, but rather a mind-bending puzzle title that really does make the most of VR. If you were looking for the relaxing fishing experience, look elsewhere. However, if you want a VR experience that will totally twist your mind to breaking point, along with some nice puzzle solving, then read on.

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In A Fisherman’s Tale, players take on the role of a fisherman who happens to be living in a lighthouse. Aside from catching fish, he also happens to be an avid model builder and has an impressive model replica of his lighthouse. His daily routine goes on from one day to the next. Things take a turn for the stranger when the fisherman realises that the model fisherman in the model lighthouse is performing the same actions as the regular fisherman. If this is not confusing enough, looking up reveals that the regular fisherman is in fact inside a model lighthouse that is being watched over by a larger fisherman, and the loop continues until your brain hurts. So far as set ups go, that is pretty impressive.

What is also impressive is where the majority of the puzzles go with this set up. This all comes down to scale, in that anything required for a puzzle that is too large in the main world can be taken from the smaller model, and anything too small can be brought in from the larger model. For example, if you need a small hat, simply find the hat in the model and pluck it out. If you needed a larger hat, drop the regular hat into the small model and the outside fisherman will drop a bigger hat into the regular world, if you catch my drift. It is quite tricky to explain, but the different worlds all work in unison and are identical, meaning actions in one will replicate in the others. As a helpful offering, there is a hint system in place should the mind-bending reality be too much for the player, but the puzzles never stretch too far into the vague or complex anyway.

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If you can get your head around all that, A Fisherman’s Tale has a nice little story that will see the player being able to unlock different areas of the lighthouse in order to find more puzzles. It is not only the fisherman, or fishermen, that take centre stage in the game, so if you are looking for a game with a talking crab, this would be it. The game has a nice visual style that is happy and cheerful. It is not trying to be realistic most of the time, which works in the games’ benefit, but there is a good level of detail that makes sure objects that are needed for puzzles stand out.

As is the case with most PSVR games, A Fisherman’s Tale comes in short, running to only a couple of hours. It’s not too bad, but it does feel more like an experience than a game, presenting the player with some interesting dilemmas that can only be solved through manipulating these worlds within worlds. There are collectibles to find, although collecting them all is only pointed out by a trophy, so going back in to complete the hunt is a possibility. But the game really does leave the player wanting more, hoping the developers will push this great concept to even more extremes.

When it comes to the controls, A Fisherman’s Tale makes use of the Move controllers to give players a way to interact with everything in the world. It seems that implementation of Move controllers in games is particularly tricky as so many seem to struggle. A Fisherman’s Tale is one of those games, with the Move controllers being used as an extension of the hands suffering from twitchiness and imprecision. It is certainly not the worst that I have seen, but it can be frustrating, and makes the simple aim of picking things up more difficult than it should be. Making it worse is when you catch items on other items in the world, often causing them to drop. Through the course of the game, it becomes easier to make allowances for this less than perfect control scheme.

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A Fisherman’s Tale is a great concept. Despite the short length and the control issues, it is entertaining enough to be remembered and rolled out when showing off the joy of PSVR. It does feel like it needed more though – more length and more puzzles, and taking the concept further. These are all thoughts that you will come away with once you finish the game. But the fact that you are thinking about the game at all is a sign that A Fisherman’s Tale has made its mark, and it will be remembered with nothing but fondness. For those looking for a new, slightly different PlayStation VR experience, grab A Fisherman’s Tale and become a model, playing with a model, inside a model, and so on.




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Cozy Grove Due This Spring

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