A FIsherman’s Tale has a fantastic physics breaking idea that makes your head scratch and your mouth smile with glee when you realise what is going on. I’ve often had dreams where I sit and watch the TV and inside the TV I see myself sitting down and watching TV to see it repeating ad infinitum into the distance. A Fisherman’s Tale works a little like that. It’s like Russian dolls came to life and decided to unite for brain teasing puzzles.
You control a puppet version of yourself in a toy lighthouse who needs to get to the top of it to turn on the light and guide someone home. Look outside the window and you’ll see a giant version of you mirroring your movements outside with a giant scale model of your world out the door. Look on your kitchen table and a toy Lighthouse can have its roof taken off to see a tiny toy version of you doing the same thing too. Part of the early fun is trying to work out what you can and can’t do in this world. Hold hands with your tiny friend? Throw objects across dimensions? Try and pick yourself up? Knock yourself out. It’s all about trial and error to see what you can move between scale versions of the world around you to solve puzzles are move on.
The environments you visit are small but detailed. So much is interactive and as the game progresses the puzzles switch each level. Sometimes its you moving between the giant and regular sized worlds like Alice in Wonderland. Other puzzles are about moving objects between the worlds so you can interact with them. There’s another section where you turn on the tap and flood your downstairs, which lets you then play a crane game as tiny you to fish out tiny building blocks to create a ship. It’s always inventive and things rarely repeat. You’ll be interacting with objects a lot and slotting them into places or throwing them about. To make this easy to do (as you can only node turn at about 30 degree angles using the move controls on PSVR) you have extendable arms. This allows you to pick things up at range without too much problem. The only downside is that the items often collide with the world around you and sometimes flip off into oblivion. A few seconds later they will respawn but it happens a little too often.
Whilst visually things are great, its the audio that really sells the experience. Radio signals play out over your wireless and the music is emotive too when it comes. Voice acting for all the characters play out expertly and you feel like you are immersed in a giant storm which picks up power later in the game. Whilst replayability is here in the form of collectable orbs to find (and some of them are visible and I still have no idea several playthroughs later of how to get them), the game is quite short. You’ll likely clear it in just over two hours if you don’t get too stuck. I did get stuck on the final puzzle, which is a tricky kaleidoscope light puzzle that had me cross armed and gingerly moving around like a buzz wire dexterity puzzle.
That being said, A Fisherman’s Tale utterly delighted every minute. I loved the unique idea and the fun ways you could try to test the rules of the world around you. Whilst some of the solutions do funnel your gameplay options down after that initial ‘oooh what can I do’ introduction, its a great experience. You even get to ride around in a fishes mouth. What more do you need to convince you to grab it? My parting shot for this was that the developer was kind enough to send a review copy for the game and I immediately after finishing it bought a copy of their new game Maskmaker based off this game alone. Look forward to a review copy of that sometime soon.
Review copy provided by developer. PSVR version review.
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