AGH Atari 2600 Review:

by Fox Video Games

Fishing Derby
Legendary designer David Crane is best known for Pitfall! and Decathlon on the 2600, but some of his other unheralded creations, in my opinion, are just as good. Fishing Derby might not have as much pazzaz as Crane's later 2600 games, but it's simple and fun, and you're guaranteed to catch more fish in ten minutes of play than any real fisherman could probably catch in months of trying.

The screen is a simplistic rendering of two persons sitting on the pier, one at each side. Both figures have a pole and line firmly in hand. Immediately below the figures is the blue water. The very large figure of a shark moves back and forth in this area near the surface, just waiting for a fish to come near. Fish swim in six rows beginning just below the surface of the water to the bottom portion of the screen, back and forth between the pilings of the piers. Scores, noting the number of pounds of fish caught in the time alotted, are displayed at the top center of the screen.

All action is joystick controlled, and very simple. The player must drop the line into the water and snag a fish in one of the rows by placing the line in the area near the mouth of the fish. The biggest fish swim in the bottom rows, while the smaller ones are more likely to be found nearer the top. Once a fish is snagged, it is wise to play him back and forth while pulling him up to the top of the water, then push the fire button and land the fish quickly before the shark turns and snatches it away.

As is the case with many of Crane's creations, the game offers even greater enjoyment with two players. Also, there are some strategic moves to be made for consistent success at this game, and this lends interesting challenge to what could have been a very tame game. Quite simple but remarkably fun.

Title Fishing Derby
Publisher Activision
System Atari 2600 (VCS)
Graphics 6
Sound 5
Gameplay 8
Overall 8
Reviewer Keita Iida

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