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Just a Peek

Freeverse Flick Fishing

There was a time in my life when all I wanted to do was fish.

Understand that I didn't really want to catch anything, that meant I had to do something more than sit and contemplate the meaning of life, the secrets of the universe, or feminine logic (which, in my world, is an oxymoron if ever there was one).

You see, during that time in my life I lived in Vermont. I had a new job that I was not especially good at and I was constantly concerned that I would be fired, leaving me and my relatively new family in the Great White North with no job, no health benefits, hundreds of miles from our nearest relative.

Needless to say that I was under a lot of stress and when I reluctantly agreed to go fishing with a friend I soon discovered that what many anglers know: Often it's not about catching fish, it's about releasing stress.

Dropping a line in a slow moving river or stream can be as therapeutic as yoga or meditation. If I did manage to hook something I often let it go. Keeping it meant cleaning and cooking it and I just didn't want the bother.

Since that time, whenever I get stressed I think back on a lazy Saturday afternoon sitting on the bank of the Winooski River, watching my bobbin lull and bounce through slow currents and eddies.

Of course, not all anglers are into fishing for its therapeutic value, some people actually want to catch something. The bigger the catch and the more it fights the more they love it. It's a challenge for these folks, matching wits against the forces of nature. For the poor fish, however, it's a matter of life or death. Seems a bit lopsided somehow, doesn't it?

Anyway, now both nirvana seekers and sportsmen alike can angle to their hearts content with Freeverse's Flick Fishing.

I've seen virtual fishing games before and I was never really impressed with them. The computer keyboard and mouse are poor substitutes for for rod and reel, and no matter how realistic the graphics were you always felt distant, as if you are watching your self fish on TV. How boring is that?

Flick Fishing is a bit different in that your iPhone or iPod touch serves as the rod and reel. You actually have something to hold in your hand that lets you cast as you would a real tackle. In fact, Flick Fishing lets you enjoy the fun and movement of fishing without dealing with the mess. No worms or minnows to impale and no getting impaled with hooks. And when you catch a fish you don't have to worry about freeing it from the hook ( the part I liked the least, especially when the fish swallows the hook and you have to get pliers down its gullet to free it. Yuk!).

To cast in Flick Fishing you hold your thumb on the iPhone screen, then flick your wrist while releasing your thumb.

BE CAREFUL not to flick your phone across the room. Make sure you have a nice grip on your phone with palm and fingers.

Practice with some easy flicks and soon you'll be flicking with the best of them.

Fishing near the lighthouse is almost as creepy as The Old Guy

Once you've got the flicking down to a science the rest comes easy. Choose a spot to cast, pick a lure or bait, flick that sucker out there and see what bites. You can choose from one of six locations on or around a fictitious island that includes a river, pond, pier, and places for shallow and deep water fishing. There's even a lighthouse. It kinda reminds me of New England, but I suppose it could be anywhere.

Catching fish is easy: Put something on the end of your line and the fish will bite. What bites and how big it is is a matter of chance. You might catch flounder, bass, carps, shark, even sailfish and barracuda. The bigger game fish are tougher to land and you really need to watch the tension of your line if you want to bring in the big ones.

The other part of this game is the atmosphere, and Flick Fishing does a good job. You won't feel like you are in a Star Trek-like Holodeck, where 3D imaging takes on a whole new meaning, but the sounds are soothing and the visuals are good enough to let you drift away for a moment or two.

In fact, I got a touch of nausea while sitting in a deep sea fishing boat and casting for mackerel in a storm, something I would not do in real life. The waves whitecapped and splash and the ocean looked dark and forbidding while the boat rocked enough to send my tacklebox sliding back and forth across the deck.

Very cool indeed (if chumming the water is your idea of cool).

This tropical Beach is more like it.

If you are a goal oriented person then you might check out The Old Guy in the Lighthouse. He'll send you on various quests to catch fish to fill the island's aquarium. He's a freaky looking old coot, but once you start getting fish in the aquarium it becomes another place to stop if you just want to watch the fish swim by.

And now, with iPhone OS 3.0 and the new in-app purchase feature, for another buck you can buy a new location that offers a nice change of scenery and new fishing challenges. Currently Freeverse is only offering a tropical "Private Beach" location which includes palm trees, sea breezes, new fish and a peer to peer game.

Is it worth another dollar? I dunno. It's only one new location and three more fish, but the game could be good if I can find someone to play against.

The only thing I could ding Flick Fishing for is how frequently the fish bite. In the real world weather, time of year, time of day and other factors affect how often, or even if the fish will bite. In Flick Fishing they bite. If the game would let you, you could tie a paperweight in the shape of Elvis on the end of your line and the fish would bite. Not very realistic. (Everyone knows fish prefer Sinatra.)

All in all Flick Fishing from Freeverse is a fun, relaxing way to spend a few minutes. And for those looking for stress relief without drugs or highly paid shrink, this will be the best buck you'll ever spend.

I highly recommend* Flick Fishing.

Review Item Flick Fishing
Manufacturer Freeverse
List Price
Street Price
US$0.99
Minimum Requirements

iPod Touch, or iPhone

In-app purchase requires iPhone OS 3.0

* Note: My rating system goes like this;

  • Get it Now! - Highest rating and an absolute must-have
  • Highly recommend - Minor flaws, but a great product
  • Recommend - Flawed, but still a solid product
  • So-so - Problem product that may find a niche market
  • Avoid - Why did they bother making it? A money waster.

Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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