It’s not often I get surprised by a game but a Fishermans Tale really left an impression on me. I love PlayStation VR and I really appreciate quirky VR experiences and this title fits nicely in this category. It’s quite short and very different to anything I have played in VR thus far. It’s a mind-bending puzzler with a quirky story and I loved every second of it.
You are in control of Bob a puppet in the shape of a fisherman. Its a solitary life in your cabin until you hear a radio message signalling a serious storm brewing outside. You soon realise that it’s your job to get to the top of the lighthouse and illuminate the seas to warn oncoming boats. Along with some uncanny characters and some of the most abstract puzzles I have ever experienced in a game before, you set off on a short but very sweet journey to the summit of the lighthouse.
Most of the game is your standard VR experience, you control both of Bob’s hands with your move controllers and pick up items with the triggers to solve various puzzles. Where this title is very different though is it’s Escher-like puzzles which defy all the laws of physics. Your cabin has a smaller version of the cabin inside it, like a perfect replica of the world you are currently moving around in. This cabin also contains a version of Bob that moves perfectly as you do. If you look upwards you notice that you are inside a model of the cabin in a larger version of your world, so essentially there are 3 versions of the world all nested inside each other and you control them all.
This leads to some amazing puzzles and ways to manipulate the world. For example, if you pick up an item and offer it to the window of the smaller model cabin you can retrieve the larger version of the item from the larger world from the window behind you. It’s hard to explain but it’s an amazing game system that this whole title is built around. Some of the puzzles and the ways you complete them blew my mind, I loved every second of this experience and did not want it to end.
A Fishermans Tale controls amazingly, I had zero issues with the VR elements of it and it has one quality of life improvement over other games of this ilk. Often in VR games you drop an item and retrieving it again becomes a bit frustrating. Due to the VR camera being limited and the PSVR being attached by a cable sometimes moving around and interacting with items can be a bit messy. This title negates this whole fiasco with one little amazing change. If you press a button on either move controller it extends your hand in the VR space, it’s a small change but it’s astounding. You can pick items up off the floor, from high shelves or anywhere really with ease. All VR games should do this going forward, it’s a game-changer. It stops you moving out of camera range and makes the whole experience much more enjoyable
Graphically this title is very pleasant, everything is rendered beautifully and the lighting is very well done. The sense of scale is great and all the trippy puzzles and VR spaces are detailed and well designed. The transitions between various parts of the lighthouse and between the different versions of yourself are a sight to behold. I loved the art style and its chunky cartoony graphics, there were a few times I stopped to admire what was happening around me due to how great things looked or how abstract things got. It’s a very delightful experience from start to finish.
There’s not much to say on the sound front really, the music was nice and all the sounds were believable and well made. The characters were voiced adequately and everything was coherent. The soundtrack fits the game and the themes running through it very well. There were a few times the music did enhance what was happening and made some of the experience more poignant.
I always discuss the performance of a game at the end of my reviews because I think it’s important and this game is no different. The game was perfect in this department, no hiccups, graphical issues or crashes. It was a pleasure to play and with the addition of the extendable arms feature, negated all the issues with interacting within a world on PSVR.
Simple, buy this game. I have never said that in a review before but this game is as near to perfect as I could imagine a game like this to be. Puzzles that blew my mind, seriously, the price is worth it for the mind-bending puzzles alone. They are brilliant. The world is beautiful, the music fitting and the whole experience is why I love VR. I completely forgot about the outside world and got lost in this magical little title.
If you have a PSVR headset and love quirky titles then why are you still sat there? The game is currently on offer for just over ten pounds for PlayStation plus users, what are you waiting for? You will love A Fishermans Tale. It’s excellent and probably as close to a ten that I will ever award a game. Right you will have to excuse me, I am off to get the last few trophies I need for the platinum.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*