IT HAD to happen. It was about the only sport hitherto unsullied by the attentions of computer programmers. We refer, of course, to the noble art of the angler, or, to give its title in full spin-off rent-a-celebrity glory, Jack Charlton's Match Fishing.
Any computer version should reflect the numbing boredom so beloved by anglers, and to an extent Match Fishing succeeds. You play with up to eight fishermen, or on your own. You are allocated a 'peg' - a section of water to fish - and must choose the appropriate tackle, rod and bait for the spot and the species you reckon might live there. You also choose how far to cast.
Having chosen your tackle you watch an idyllic screen of lake, mountains and green banks. When a bite is registered, you lunge forward to press the number of your peg, to 'strike' the fish. If in time, a cartoon-like sequence involves a fish swimming towards the line.
As a solitaire game, only the dedicated angler is likely to enjoy Match Fishing. With several players, and the inevitable scramble for keys if fish are biting, the game becomes more fun.
The problem is that if you don't know anything about fishing you won't get much out of the game. And the dedicated angler, who might enjoy the game greatly, is going to be spending his spare time out there with the midges and the stinky maggots and the dead swans and the crate of Newcastle Brown.