‘Dovetail Games Euro Fishing immerses you deep into the adrenaline-packed action, fun and beauty of Europe’s most famous lakes. Master your rod, line and tactics, and refine your technique to become a top angler. This is the closest you can get to real fishing from the comfort of your own sofa. Welcome to the Great Indoors!’
Dovetail Games Euro Fishing is one of those games that gets your curiosity going, having dabbled in a bit of fishing in real life I was eager to see how it compared. Now I’m no John Wilson or Rex Hunt etc. but I do know my way around a rod. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect when first going in as the only other fishing game I’ve played is SEGA Bass Fishing, which in comparison is much more of an ‘Arcade’ game. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised at what Dovetail Games Euro Fishing has to offer.
I did expect to be thrown in at the deep end (no pun intended) as you are presented with a lot of different tabs and options on the main menu, taking a minute or two to familiarise yourself with what’s there and you’ll be set. I do advise taking the time to play the tutorial. It is very informative, yet easy enough to understand for novice players.
Speaking of which, dovetail Games have put two methods of casting in the game. ‘Total Control’ and ‘Basic’ giving players the choice of how they want to play, more experienced players will prefer the total control casting which, as the name suggests gives you full control of the power and distance of your cast. This is a bit of a tricky control system as it is all about timing, which newcomers may struggle to get the hang of. While basic casting is a case of readying your rod, then setting the power of the cast with an on screen power bar. A lot simpler, and is great for those that may be put off using total control. Again ideal for newcomers and younger players.
On to the gameplay, and I can’t quite believe how much of an enjoyable experience it is to play, it is slow paced, as you would expect a fishing game to be. Yet it is not boring as some would think. There’s this element of wanting to get that next fish that’s bigger than the last one you caught, or even in a multiplayer game with your friends, being the one that caught the biggest fish. There’s enough competitiveness there to keep you interested, yet at the same time it’s still very relaxed. Plus a multitude of options to change time of day weather etc. if you’re playing in freedom fishing mode.
You start out with a basic setup, enough to get you catching fish up to around 10lbs, and as you do catch fish, you level up your character and earn TP, which in turn can be used to purchase new equipment, rods, reels, lines and bait etc. Which you can put together how you please, and set up different tackle boxes. Enabling you to go for big/small fish and/or specific species of fish, (of which there’s Bream, Tench, Roach, Catfish and Common, Mirror, Leather Carp), across five different lakes. Using either bottom fishing or float fishing. There’s also specimen and boss fish to chase down too.
It would have been nice to have seen some other fish, fishing methods and maybe a river or two, but nevertheless there’s still enough content to keep players happy. There were a few glitches I encountered whilst playing, one quite funny, where some large fish can be seen “doing head stands” with their tails sticking 2 feet out of the water. Another being a little more frustrating in which fish swim into the bank while you are reeling them in, clip through the bank, and then teleport across the lake instantly snapping the line. Again these happen rarely, but are worth mentioning. Game modes include single/multiplayer tournaments and (as mentioned above) freedom fishing. Tournaments are played against other players online, and against A.I. in single player, with the objective being to score the most points within a set time limit. Freedom fishing is just that, you can select where you want to spawn on each lake and are free to walk around casting from anywhere along the bank using a single rod, or choose to set up on one of the many pegs where you can have up to 3 rods out. Single player also features a challenge mode, where you have to cast in to ‘targets’ on the lake to score points within a set time limit.
Visually Euro Fishing has what I would say a ‘typical simulator look’, with the overall surroundings being basic where the most effort has gone in to the visuals of the lake and fish, much like how farming simulator’s visual efforts are put into the machinery. The focus is on the main stuff in the game. which I find acceptable as you’ll be spending the majority of your time watching the lake as it shimmers and ripples, and admiring your latest catch. Not inspecting the 2D blades of grass behind you. The audio is pretty spot on, not really much to say other than Dovetail have captured the sounds of the countryside superbly.