Mobfish Hunter Review

Mobfish Hunter, a Ridiculous Fishing type arcade game from Appxplore, is now available from the app store. Featuring similar avoidance mechanics, collection tasks, and item upgrades to purchase from the in-game store, you might be hard-pressed to find too many differences from the core gameplay of Vlambeer’s notable game.

Mobfish Hunter Pros:

  • Crisp, cartoon visuals and smooth animations
  • Responsive accelerometer controls
  • Soundtrack is catchy and tension-building
  • Lots of items to buy/upgrade
  • Good sense of progression and fun collection mechanics
  • GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements

Mobfish Hunter Cons:

  • Energy timers and push toward IAP suck some of the fun out of the experience
  • Hard not to compare to Ridiculous Fishing

Mobfish Hunter sees you perched atop a hoverboard over a deep ocean reef full of mutated Mobfish that must be eradicated. Spiking your Sea-Mine lure into the water causes it to sink into the depths, passing various fish that become more plentiful and exotic as you continue your descent. Contact a fish and your mine/lure will rise. This is where the two games differ. Instead of collecting fish and blasting them out of the sky with heavy firepower, the task is accomplished with your mine on the way back up. Any fish you contact will be destroyed and earn you cash. Your mine/lure can also be tricked out with a variety of melee and projectile weapons to do additional damage to nearby aquatic life, driving up your multiplier and leading to higher scores. There are nine lure types to buy and a handful of utilities to acquire that allow you to dive deeper, see better, and the like.  You gain experience as you progress, allowing you to unlock access to the new items and refilling your energy meter, which is necessary to fish. You get five tries initially, after which you earn one energy unit every ten minutes. There’s a pretty significant push toward IAP, as you might expect from a free-to-play game. It’s fun and it does a decent job of recreating the Ridiculous Fishing experience, but it’s missing the same charm and character that made its inspiration so great.

Graphically, the cartoon style is cleaner and less pixilated than Ridiculous Fishing, with a nice variety of fish and a bunch of cool mine/lures to use. There are four locations to unlock and explore, each with its own unique fish to destroy. It looks great in motion and the color changes as you go deeper add some visual flair that, while reminiscent of Ridiculous Fishing, still adds a necessary sense of progression. In fact, everything about the game feels like you are constantly progressing, earning new experience levels at quick clips, earning cash bonuses to buy/upgrade your gear and purchase one-time boosts, discovering new fish, completing missions, acquiring collection bonuses, and more. It has a way of sucking you in and compelling you to play just one more time, which is why the energy timers are so darn annoying. We’d rather this had followed Ridiculous Fishing and gone premium instead. The soundtrack is good, creating a tense feel as you narrowly avoid large schools of fish during your descent. The controls use the accelerometer to avoid fish on the way down and to aim for fish on the way back up. When you earn the boost, you touch the screen to power through fish that you are in danger of contacting on the way down. If you have any fuel leftover on the way back up, you can hold the screen to slow you ascent. They were responsive and easy to use.

Replay value is very good, as there is a lot to do, plenty to acquire/upgrade, and a strong one-more-try mechanic. However, we spent most of our time with the game wondering why we weren’t just playing the title that inspired this game (what was it called again?), as these same-y, me-too games never quite live up to the original. Still, for the free-to-play crowd and those who appreciate flattery in the form of imitation, Mobfish Hunter should fit the bill. GameCenter integration provides a half-dozen leaderboards and 30 achievements to earn, as well as iCloud backup to save your progress across devices. A universal app that will cost you nothing to play (unless you are willing to part with cold hard cash for coins, gems, doublers, and/or increased energy caps), Mobfish Hunter is a 4-Dimple experience.