Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure E3 Impression
Saying that a fishing game could be considered an RPG is a bit of a hard sell. On many levels, that remains true for Natsume’s upcoming Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure; after all, the core of the gameplay does revolve around achieving that zen state of relaxation, you against the elements, man versus nature. But there are a number of parallels to be drawn between this and traditional RPGs, pages that the developers have ripped straight out of the RPG rulebook, creating an interesting hybrid of styles that’s sure to please those looking for a more chill experience.
The story of Reel Fishing — and yes, there is a story — centers on Sean, Neil, and Alice, three college students going on a relaxing fishing road trip to kick back, deepen their friendships, and figure out life. It’s essentially a coming-of-age tale nestled between scenic fishing spots, one that’s somehow started at the behest of a ghost. The game kicks things off by giving players access to a starter lake, and provides a quest that must be completed before moving on, tasking players with catching specific fish while meeting certain type and size requirements. Once the proper fish have been caught, the three friends’ story advances in the form of a visual novel, before a new lake and quest become available.
Sean is the group’s fisher, and he hits the lakes for a certain amount of in-game time each day; once time is up, whether the specified fish have been caught or no, it’s time to return to camp, where the RPG elements kick in. While Sean is out fishing, Neil is gathering resources from the surrounding area in order to enable to player to craft new rods, lures, bait, and reels — your gear, essentially. Similarly, Alice’s role in camp is that of cook, and players must choose meals and snacks that she can prepare to keep the party fed and even provide helpful stat buffs for the next day’s fishing outing.
With an estimated twenty-hour story mode, there’s quite a bit to experience, and of course returning to your favorite lakes to fish just for the pure joy of it is also possible. The game releases this summer on Switch and PlayStation 4.