Has it really been ten years since Ridiculous Fishing released on iOS? Ten years since it won TouchArcade’s Game of the Year award? More than a decade since the cloning controversy? I guess so. Heck, it’s been six years since I did my Classic Reload article on the game, a piece that is now more classic than the game itself was at the time of its writing. It was a game sorely in need of an update, but when Vlambeer more or less closed its doors a few years back, I gave up any hope of that. So imagine my surprise when Ridiculous Fishing EX () was announced to be coming to Apple Arcade. Not Ridiculous Fishing+, but Ridiculous Fishing EX! I’m a Capcom fan; ‘EX‘ gets me moderately excited all on its own. So how is this update? Let’s cast a line and find out.
I’d like to sit here and pretend that everyone reading this is already familiar with Ridiculous Fishing, but time makes fools of us all, doesn’t it? So to kick things off, here’s a recap. It started as a Flash game released in 2010 by Vlambeer called Radical Fishing. The small developer planned to bring a spiffed-up version of the game to iOS as one of its first mobile game, but the sudden appearance of a clone that shall go unnamed caused a bit of a dust-up that saw the game get sidelined for a couple of years. It eventually hit in 2013, after the release of the also-excellent Super Crate Box. This new version, called Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption, was put together by Vlambeer (Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman) along with designer Zach Gage, artist Greg Wohlwent, and musician Eirik Sulke. It was a real dream team, and the results spoke for themselves. Great reviews, many awards, and near-universal praise were piled up for the game. Can’t beat the real thing, baby.
It only takes one play to see why. Ridiculous Fishing hits all the notes a mobile game should. It’s really intuitive to pick up and play, it looks and sounds great, and it’s perfect for filling a few minutes or a couple of hours as needed. Each play consists of three segments, each taking the form of a little mini-game. Casting your line with a tap starts the first, which sees you tilting your device to avoid any fish or other creatures to ensure your line reaches its maximum depth. When it hits that point or touches anything, the second segment starts. You’re tilting again here, but this time you’re trying to hit as much as you possibly can to snag it on your ascending line.
So far this isn’t very ridiculous, but once your line reaches the surface things get kind of wild. The catch flies into the air, and you now have to use your gun to shoot every last creature. Well, not all of them. Each creature you shoot will either add some money to your total or subtract some. Once all the creatures have either been shot or fall back into the water, your cash earnings are totaled. You can then go to the shop to buy some upgrades or cast your line again. There are different fishing areas, and you’ll unlock new ones by catching a set number of species in the previous one. You can only do that by reaching as far into the deep as possible, and there are some creatures that require certain conditions to appear.
Ridiculous Fishing EX, developed in association with KO_OP Mode, pretty much follows the same template. There are some new upgrades in the shop, new creatures to catch, a new end game mode (a terrific new addition for veteran players), a fully redone presentation, and more. I also love that the game’s Twitter expy has been swapped out for a TikTok expy named BikBok. With new creatures come new entries in the Fishopedia, and they are just as hilarious as ever. And don’t worry: it’s still a tale of redemption. Make sure you roll those credits, because there’s a nice reward for doing so. All in all, it’s a really faithful remake. While it has been fully spruced up, it hasn’t abandoned the style of the original game in doing so.
The gameplay is practically unchanged with the exception of what the new upgrades offer, and that’s great because it didn’t need any changes. There’s a satisfying progression built around the simple gameplay loop, and all of the segments of that loop are short and fun enough that they never really get old. Even after you’re used to the absurd premise, it’s fun trying to avoid the fish, then do the opposite, and then blast them away. Having to be careful about which fish you shoot to avoid money losses and where you should focus your shots means you can’t just blast away without thinking, so even at its most mindless Ridiculous Fishing EX needs you to pay a bit of attention.
Ultimately, while Ridiculous Fishing EX is a full-on remake, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It takes a game that very much worked in every way, buffs up the presentation, piles some extra content on top, and most importantly makes it work the way it should on modern devices. Those who played the original top to bottom will find some new things to enjoy, and those who are completely new to Ridiculous Fishing are in for quite a treat. I wish we had seen the universe where mobile gaming continued along these lines instead of where it ended up going, but for now I’ll just say I’m very happy to have this terrific, near-perfect game vital once more.