Lets Fish Game

Lets Fish

Let's Fish is the best online web fishing game! The most realistic locations and the biggest fish 24 hours a day! Tournaments, tackle, bait, groundbait, all for free!

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The Basics

Let's Fish is a browser game with Facebook integration and social features that are built into the core of the game. Like most freemium games, there are two types of currency; the basic 'coins' which are given as reward for in game achievements, and 'bank notes', the premium currency, which can be bought with real money and used to unlock more powerful equipment and speed up minor aspects of gameplay.

Currency prices are worrying - keep an eye on children playing - up to £120 for the highest tier, which is made easily available in a separate tab of the game window.

Those wishing to embrace the social aspect of the game can join fishing clubs with other players. There are also tournaments to take part in (once you've achieved a high enough level), plenty of locations to fish, a massive amount of equipment to use and over 400 species of fish to catch.

Players start at level 1 and gain experience by successfully catching fish - the bigger the fish, the more experience gained. Equipment and locations are level restricted, and players can look forward to slogging through 300 levels.

The fishing itself is pretty basic. The locations are nothing more than small cinemagraphs - a real, high quality photo as a backdrop with animated water and fishing equipment in the foreground. There's no waiting around - a bite always comes a couple of seconds after casting out, and then reeling the fish in is done through a minigame with a simple meter.

Plenty to do

Let's Fish is very much built around the idea of taking MMO-like questing, removing the challenge and ensuring that the time/reward ratio is as low as possible. During my time, I never ran out of simple quests to do, and more often than not I had a choice of quests to focus on.

There are a comprehensive number of quests and locations - over 40 - to progress through, and the game looks to offer small challenges to players at every turn. Each area has a set number of species that it actively encourages you to discover before moving onto the next location.

Refreshingly, there's also an element of freedom. I could, if I wanted, just spend my time trying to catch the largest European Perch possible - it's a game that allowed me to loosely set my own challenges if I wasn't interested in what the game 'wanted' me to do next. Enhancing this is the ability to make trophies out of my catches and share them with friends.

So although there is a definite competitive nature to the gameplay in the upper echelons of the rankings, it's not the be all and end all of the game. I found myself having a perfectly decent time approaching it as a time-killer that rewarded my progress with rapid unlocks and beating my own personal bests.

The game is certainly crammed with mechanics, objectives and different ways to compete with other players. The first few minutes spent with the game can easily be overwhelming, but overall they've done a good job at introducing everything gradually.

Pay to Win?

As I mentioned briefly, the game does contain micro-transactions and a premium currency.

Thankfully, the most frequent and annoying freemium practice - paying money to eliminate waits between actions - is for the most part non-existent in the browser version. I never had to wait between casts, and I never had to wait between changing locations. Minor mechanics, such as the fishing nets which allowed me to catch several fish at once, are time-gated, and someone wanting to use them more frequently will have to spend premium currency on them.

The free currency, coins, are easily collected and stockpiled through doing basic quests. I never found myself short of money to upgrade my equipment or purchase new bait. Good marks there, then, as that's two areas where they could have put a monetary barrier to progression but didn't.

Where things get less generous though is with the quality of equipment that can be purchased with the premium currency. It is always several times better than what can be bought with coins at the same level. People who own premium equipment will be able to catch bigger and rarer species of fish - something that makes a massive difference to the competitions that take place each week. So in that aspect, for those of us that have a competitive streak, the game can absolutely be viewed as pay-to-win - although given the random generation of catches, it would still require a bit of luck to best someone with the same level of equipment.

I'm also suspicious that the rather ridiculously high number of player levels is an attempt to entice those who get caught up in these type of games to spend money in order to reach the higher levels at a much more rapid rate. Boosters can be bought with premium currency to speed up the levelling experience, and having access to the superior equipment will make a massive difference, as well.

Another black mark comes from not allowing the player to earn premium currency without spending real money. Some quests will give bank notes as rewards, but only when completing them requires that some be spent in the first place.

The lottery system is also suspect. Players are given one free chance to earn a 0-100 percent discount on 4 randomly generated items. Subsequent turns cost money. It's so random that there's a good chance nothing useful will ever come up, yet those with the type of personality that get drawn into these mechanics will be sorely tempted to keep trying.

Then there's the 'one that got away' feature. For a relatively small amount of bank notes, a fish that escaped is revealed - type, weight and experience gain included - with the offer to try again. As a one-off, it doesn't seem like a big deal. For those that are invested in the competitive nature however, it's another opportunity to pay for success.

Wrapping Up

So what do I think of Let's Fish overall?

When approached as a time-killer, it can actually be a quite enjoyable little game. I never felt pressured into spending real money, despite being prompted a few times, and I was happy at the rate of progress I was able to achieve just by completing the quests and unlocking basic equipment. The use of real fish species certainly contributed to my enjoyment, as did the implied objective of catching each individual species in every area.

However, if I were someone that wanted to get into the competitive side of Let's Fish, I'd quickly become annoyed at how limited progress would be without spending real money. I think that as a competitive game it is entirely pay-to-compete, and that's not something I'd feel comfortable recommending.

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