Fly fishing is one of those relaxing outdoor hobbies that I've always admired but never had the opportunity to try for myself. I know it takes a lot of preparation crafting the right flies for the type of fish you're angling for and that weather and other conditions will factor into your success.
While I may never get a chance to go out fly fishing proper, I can at least enjoy the digital equivalent in River Legends: A Fly Fishing Adventure.
The first thing that really stands out with River Legends is the beautiful pixel artwork. Whereas other fishing sims out there aim for photorealistic graphics and cram in multiple fishing methods, this indie developer decided to stick with a beautiful art style and the fly fishing niche and it works really well.
You start off with access to one body of water and a tutorial that teaches you how to perform an overhead cast and tips for snagging a fish. Once you've got a bite, the battle is on as you adjust your rod tension to reel the fish to shore without letting it get away or snap your line.
With every fish you catch, you have the option of releasing them for experience points or keep them and collect some gold. It's important to keep a balance between collecting experience and gold because you need experience points to unlock all seven fishing spots, but you also need gold for upgrading your equipment and accessing hard to reach areas on each river or lake — plus the biggest fish you catch and keep are enshrined in your trophy room.
I absolutely love the atmosphere this game creates. There's no music soundtrack while you're out fishing, just the ambient sounds of nature and the splish-splash when a fish comes up to the surface. Each fishing spot is also inhabited by unique wildlife that go about their business around you. It's utterly charming and everything I would hope to see on a real-life fly fishing adventure.
As a premium title, this game features no in-app purchases or paid DLC which is great because fishing is supposed to be a relaxing event and ads and micro-transactions would absolutely spoil the experience. If you're not quite sure if the game is for you, you can try out a demo version first.
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Put on your waders
Visit the trophy waters of Pine Canyon and fish the area lakes, ponds, and streams for a wide variety of fish. A retro-styled game with surprisingly deep simulation mechanics.
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