This is a pretty unconventional game by any standards, the player does not play against the computer but against fellow beings, the more the better.
The program simulates a day out match fishing beside a very attractive lake. (Drawn by David Thorpe see issue 17). The game caters for up to eight fisherpersons all of whom must enter their names at the start. The computer will ask how for long you want the match to last and you can select any period between 1 and 90 minutes. The program next allocates each player a peg number and describes in detail the conditions of the bank and surrounding waters. For example, the player who draws peg 7 is told that his section has two large trees adjacent to him and the water, which is only between seven and twenty feet deep, has a lot of leaves and twigs on the surface. To a fisherperson I suppose that this would suggest the use of a luminous hook and a torch but whatever tackle you decide on you must choose the most appropriate from the tackle section.
You are offered a choice of rods, floats, reels, lines, baits and hooks. At this stage you must specify the type of cast strong, medium or weak. When all of the players have selected what they assume to be the most appropriate tackle we can move onto the actual fishing.
A page of instructions explains that all of the contestants must gather round the computer. They will be shown a picture of the lake with the eight pegs around it. When a player's peg flashes it means that a fish has taken the bait and the player whose peg it is must dash to the computer and press the appropriate number to strike. The picture changes to show a little chap sitting on the bank with a fish moving towards the line, when it reaches it you press SPACE and hope that the tackle you selected is up to the fish you are trying to catch. At any stage during the wait you can ask to see your peg description and change tackle if required.
At the end of the time period the results are displayed. Each player's name is printed to the screen in an order dependent on the total weight of fish caught. Displaying the total weight of fish caught neatly avoids those traditional, arms outstretched arguments about the ones that got away.
SILLY WARNING Please don't take Your Spectrum near the water's edge, it could prove harmful and may be dangerous.
'Fishing has got to be one of the most difficult sports to simulate and I think this program manages to capture the tactical and technical aspects rather well. The view of the pool is superb and it's quite fun just to sit in front of it and relax, just graphics of the fisherman on the river bank are (forgive me) another kettle of fish - a little on the simple side but they are colourful and effective enough. The blurb that came with the game stressed the importance of a group of players rather than just one or two. On the whole an interesting and well designed program.
'The game manages to be quite realistic. You are told the conditions of your peg including details of water speed and light and if there any weeds about. While I am interested in fishing I do not consider myself an expert but the game certainly seemed to pose the sort of problems that any match fisherman would have to face, interesting for anglers.'
: 1 to 8 and spaceJoystick
: N/AKeyboard play
: N/AUse of colour
: very goodGraphics
: superb view of the lake, others indifferentSound
: very littleSkill levels
: 2 effectivelyGeneral Rating:
An interesting game with probably limited appeal for those who prefer making a lot of noise on the river bank. Ratings from a fisher-persons viewpoint.