I’m already breaking the promises I made to myself. I was going to commit to doing things bi-weekly until I saw that Steam Next Fest was going on. I thought, “okay, I’m going to play a few of these and make one big post.” However, the problem is, there’s just too many things grabbing my attention. And you know, it’d be good to be timely for once, so I’m not going to wait two weeks to post about it.
So, I decided to split it up to multiple shorter entries covering individual demos to post every few days. It’ll get a nice stream of Content going while still being somewhat timely. Besides, I should take it easy with the longer stuff for once.
I began my look through Steam Next Fest games with Fishing Paradiso, by odencat. Most of odencat’s output has been in the mobile game space. Their only other Steam game is Bear’s Restaurant, which would be an interesting game to play sometime, seeing as it seems to share the same world as the one in Fishing Paradiso.
And that shared world is the afterlife, my friends. You play as a boy who had apparently died, but that’s fine, because he ended up in heaven. Or at least, a heaven. As he enters the afterlife, he sees a vision of a great cosmic fish who tells him that there’s a personal heaven that he could achieve.
For now though, he wakes up on a small island with a talkative bird sidekick and a fishing pole. You’re just kinda dropped here and you don’t have anything, so may as well cooperate with the bird and go fishing to establish some livelihood. Some heaven this is.
Fishing is nice and simple. You aim the line, cast it, and hold the spacebar to reel it in – sometimes letting it go to lessen the tension on the line. If you’re fishing for a quest, the fish that you’re required to catch show up in a different color, so you can just zero in on those guys. But it’s not as if you’re losing anything by catching non-important fish, either; there is no inventory system to worry about, and you’ll immediately get money fishing something up. So even if you’re not reeling in the big catches, you’re at least grinding up your Heaven Money to buy upgrades to expand your fishing skills. Like yeah, it’s grindy, but it’s simple and quick enough to do that it doesn’t become a slog.
Speaking of quests, there’s some fun writing to the game. You meet a bunch of other characters in this afterlife, whomst I feel that someone would say gives “quirky game inspired by Earthbound” vibes, that you have to fish up stuff for. While some are eh, a few of the characters give off a strong impression, like the guy that attempts to cuck a still living guy by trying to get with his deceased wife, and well, a guy that’s hard not to respect because he punches an angel in the face.
While goofy, there’s some intrigue presented in the plot. What happened to your character? What’s this god fish? What’s the deal with this character? Though, I wonder if some questions will be answered by the full game and if some questions are answered by checking out odencat’s other works, as I recognized some characters while doing a quick background check.
Fishing Paradiso looks really good! There’s little actual animation, but really, not everything needs to be super animated. The simple few frames of the ocean water shifting is just enough for the experience. I also loved the music for giving off a chill yet energetic mood; I also appreciate that each individual fishing spot has its own music to give different vibes while still maintaining the general mood.
There’s also some house decoration thing where you touch up the house you get with things your friends give you, but honestly, it’s kinda extraneous.
I generally enjoyed Fishing Paradiso and I can’t wait to see how it gets expanded in the future. Maybe it can do a bit more to add some variety to the experience, or maybe go more in-depth with the house customization so that it doesn’t feel as extraneous as it did to me.