Desert Island Fishing

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Desert Island Fishing App Poster Image
Surprisingly deep fishing game reels in lots of fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Gamers see detailed instructions consistently throughout the game and can access additional information about how it's played.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Players can accidentally end up watching an ad after being told they have moldy junk mail. Looking at old mail may win them a trip to Treasure Island, where they can get pearls, which are used as site currency. They don't need to buy anything to play, but can also make in-app purchases ranging from $1.99 to $9.99.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Desert Island Fishing is an arcade game for iOS and Android devices. The gameplay's simple, because players try to catch fish, but it has surprising depth because it might be necessary for players to obtain more skills, strength, and accuracy points to succeed in reeling in the big ones. This role-playing-game-like element rewards a player's perseverance. While there's no inappropriate content, players can open in-game mail, which can provide them with in-game currency or accidentally launch them into viewing advertising. Players can also purchase in-game items ranging from $1.99 to $9.99.

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What's it about?

In DESERT ISLAND FISHING, players take on the role of a fisherman trying to hook hundreds of fish. The angle chosen to toss the fishing line into the ocean affects the chances of catching something; special rods and other items bought with money earned catching and selling items also help with your haul. Trading fish and catching entire sets unlocks new islands and characters. Items that you can collect are listed in a trade journal; players can also track progress using an island map, radar that provides gameplay direction, and a chart showing fish they haven't caught and specific depths they're at.

Is it any good?

This fishing game may seem simple at first, but its numerous challenges and options enhance the gameplay to keep you coming back for more and more time along the shore. Things move at a comfortable pace in Desert Island Fishing: Players can unlock new islands fairly frequently, they're periodically introduced to new characters whose backstory is gradually revealed, and later levels let them choose which sea creatures they'd like to target by swiping left or right.

There are also subtle lessons about catching fish woven in. For instance, you need to plan ahead before casting your line to choose the best depth to catch fish you haven't found yet, and you have to pay attention to successfully maneuver the rod through the water. Some parents may not love the fact that players are encouraged to sell and trade items as part of the game; even though kids aren't being put in contact with a stranger, it still places an emphasis on material goods and money. Plus, some kids may feel overwhelmed with the amount of decisions the game involves -- from the depth they aim for to the options to unload items, there's a significant amount of information to keep track of, even with the included helpful guides. But you can ignore much of that and still have a good time fishing your way to higher levels. Overall, Desert Island Fishing does a great job of providing ongoing instruction to prevent players from ever getting stuck, letting them catch their fill of digital fish.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about spending real money on virtual items. Can you have a good time playing with just pretend currency instead of spending real money for additional items? Is there a need to acquire virtual items that only work for this game and not across all games?

  • How does the organization of your gear in Desert Island Fishing help you catch more fish? Can you use these organization tactics in real life?

App details

For kids who love action

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