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Fisherman

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Fisherman App Poster Image
Fishing action reels in too many ads to be peaceful fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Players get instruction on casting their rod and reeling in fish when they first open the app; other game elements, though, such as what it takes to hatch fish, aren't fully explained.

 

Violence
Sex

The app itself is pretty tame, but kids may see ads for other games that feature a sexy Santa, spouses cheating, and other adult themes.

Language
Consumerism

Unless players pay $2.99 to remove the ads, they'll see a lot of them -- including between rounds and on the screen when they're playing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fisherman is an action game for iOS and Android games. Players take on the role of a fisherman looking to grab as many fish as possible, while also raising fish to replace the ones that are caught. Although the game gives players a brief rundown of how to catch fish, there's barely any details about how to spawn new fish or handle other elements of the game, which could confuse and frustrate gamers. While there's no inappropriate content in the game, players may be subjected to sexually suggestive ads in the game. In fact, unless players pay $2.99 to eliminate ads, they'll get swamped with ads on screen while they're playing the game and between each round of fishing.

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What's it about?

Players will pull back, cast a line, and swirl their finger in circles to reel in their catch in FISHERMAN. They also try to unlock new varieties of fish, which are tracked in the app's Fishdex, and see the amount they caught and their combined weight at the end of each round. Players can purchase lures, rods, and other items with profits they earn from selling fish. They can also use these profits to pay for access to new locations. Underwater coins can also be gathered as they play. Rounds are about a minute long, and the sky darkens to indicate each one is about to end.

Is it any good?

This app can be fun to practice your fishing skills, but the lack of instructions and the downpour of ads can leave players swimming in promos when they only want to catch fish. In Fisherman, players have some control over their fishing line before and after it enters the water, and they get a few helpful visual cues when playing -- such as the fishing line turning red, indicating a catch may be about to get free. They can also cast a line again if their first try isn't successful. Playing requires some practice, but it's fun to try to hone your skills.

New fish appearing in the mix offer fresh challenges to keep things from getting repetitive. But the fish hatching process and some other game elements that aren't covered in the brief introduction can be a little confusing. With relatively short rounds, catching a large number of fish -- or some of the bigger ones that tend to be deeper in the water -- can also be challenging. That's because the hook sinks somewhat slowly, reeling them to shore takes some time, and it's easy to accidentally snare a smaller fish that happens to be in the way. That can sometimes make it hard to strategize what you're trying to catch. Fortunately, purchasing new lures and rods helps speed things up. Players will still face a time crunch for each round, though -- and a lot of ads. In addition to ones that appear at the bottom of the screen, they'll see ads in between rounds, and sometimes during them. For example, a message can pop up, asking if you want to watch an ad to extend the time of the round right before it's about to end. That can be a particularly annoying disturbance that almost always seems to result in you losing the fish you were reeling in. Without so many plugs for other apps, Fisherman could be an enjoyable game that offers a subtle lesson in perseverance, but with its flood of apps, players may not have the patience to play for long.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about setting screen time limits. How do you know when it's time to put down a game and do something away from a screen? How do you stop the "one more game" feeling that many games create?

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  • How can players prepare ahead of time to perform a task? Why is it important to have plans to respond to unexpected situations?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: March 15, 2019
  • Category: Action Games
  • Size: 180.00 MB
  • Publisher: Ketchapp
  • Version: 1.1.2
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires Android 5.0 and up or iOS 9.0 or later.

For kids who love arcade games

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