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Review: Flyfishing at Em
Author: David Newton (DavidN)
Added: 18/01/2003

Finally, a game today that's reviewable (no offence to the other authors, it's just that my computer doesn't want to run most of the games today for one reason or another).

Putting the game in two separate files is unusual, but I used the same tactic in one of my own games (not yet released here). The reason I did it was to avoid huge uploads/downloads as I only had a 56k connection at that time, and it might be that the author's done it for the same reason here. Don't know, though.

The RAR unpacker program was in German, which was a bit frightening, but fortunately four years of learning it paid off ('Entpacken'! It's a great language). After that there was _another_ installer, this time the Clickteam one if I'm not mistaken.

Now, if you're fortunate enough to be able to speak German, you get a 583 kilobyte DOC manual, but if English is your language of choice you're given a Readme that lasts three lines.

So, in a bid to assist non-German-speaking Clickers, I chucked the whole file at Babelfish to see what it came up with. The result, while unique, wasn't entirely relevant to either the game or the review, but I posted it up here:

Anyway, on with the review. On loading up the game I was greeted with a peaceful scene, tranquil music, the title floating gently up the screen and a bird flying across. Sort of like those programs on the ancient computers typically found in woodland centres, or such like. Being the paranoid person that I am, I hit Space as quickly as possible in case a giant flaming skull suddenly came up or anything.

The menu continues the "forest centre demo program" theme, and is a lot like an educational program. You can find a lot about the rivers featured in the game, should you want to, and there's extensive online help as well. Unfortunately the English isn't that good - in fact it's almost reminiscent of Yoda in places (Fish you can - at five pools, m'mm!), but it's still understandable. Only just, though.

The game is played from both a side and top view, almost like Flightmare for those old enough to remember it. Getting the hang of casting the rod is incredibly difficult and it took me ages before I finally managed to fling it out into the water (not exactly fishing terminology, I know).

The trouble is, I don't know nearly enough about fishing to be able to understand the game - it's just too in-depth. There's a huge combination of rods and types of flies on offer (I don't even have a clue what half of the stuff means, let alone how to use it).

That, in fact, is the game's one and only problem. It's definitely a niche game, not one that will appeal to most people. I myself have never been fishing in my life, and the Engrish help file didn't help either (although I don't think even the clearest of help files would help me even begin to understand it - perhaps a week with "The Beginner's Guide to Fishing" would help, but that'll wait until another day).

The graphics are very well drawn, and many of them are actual photos, taken at the genuine fishing area itself, I presume. If anyone's played Microsoft's "Beyond the Limit" (and my sincere condolences if you have had the misfortune to play it) then they'll know what the game looks like - a mix of drawn graphics over photo-realistic backgrounds.

I wanted to give this game a lower score, but it would be very unfair for me to do so. The problem is, it's definitely not one for the mainstream. In other words: Very well programmed, excellent graphics, and what seems to be an unbelievably realistic and in-depth gameplay. The sounds are realistic, but the voice samples seem a little strange. The only downside is that it's a _fishing_ game. For those of you who like that, I'd give this a nine or even a ten, but it's the content and execution of the game that will put most people off.

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