I’ve only been fishing for a few times during my entire life and once I got there, I spent more time trying to untangle the line, getting the hook out of my fisherman’s cap and getting bored to death by waiting for a hungry fish to bite (they never did!).

With this sort of experience I mind, I couldn’t really understand why would anybody wish to replicate that on a computer and go through the same ordeal. But since curiosity only killed the cat and no humans, I decided to give Ultimate Fishing Simulator a try just because I could.

And, boy, I am happy I did! It’s nothing like my real life experience with fishing and even more, after just a few hours spent in-game, I decided to try the real thing once more. I am sure I’ll still find the game better, but I will try.

Unlike most fishing sims back in the day, Ultimate Fishing Simulator does things a bit differently and it’s such a welcome change in approach!

For example, you control your character in first person view and you can actually walk around the lake you’re about to fish in, searching for that perfect spot which offers an amazing panorama over the mountains or other natural beauties that you unlock as you level up. I know that real fishermen won’t choose their fishing spot based on views, but I did and I recommend you do the same – at least in this game.

There are also other real life players fishing nearby: you can see some lineouts of their shapes and even sneak a peek at their stats or even start chatting with them using the in-game chat option.

My first catch!

So although this is not something that makes the game, it offers a nice change in pace compared to other fishing sims where you were playing all by yourself, stuck in the same position and doing nothing but draining life out of a basin.

And talking of welcome changes and different approaches, Ultimate Fishing Simulator also offers you the chance to actually choose a radio station streaming online and listen to whatever music you want during your fishing experience. I can’t put it in words how amazingly relaxing it is to play this game listening to some classical music or old songs from the 50s that you’ve never heard before… it’s serene, relaxing and better than therapy (oops, I shouldn’t have said that final part, right?)

But leaving the spit and polish behind, let’s talk about the serious things in Ultimate Fishing Simulator!

You’re not playing the game to peep at other player’s profiles or for listening to online radio. You’re there to catch some fish and that’s something you’ll definitely do: constantly and without much waiting around, as it usually happens in real life situations.

It’s basically a rule of the game that every time you cast the line, you’ll end up with some sort of fish interested in your bait. So there’s no frustration here, just the joy of fishing and trying to capture massive aquatic beasts to brag with in the virtual world.

Because fighting to reel in the fish is what you will do most of the time in Ultimate Fishing Simulator – but even for a rookie fisherman like myself, things start to make sense relatively fast and you get the jist of things quickly.

You will usually have to follow the same strategy over and over again after the fish bites and you hook it in: play a bit with the rod, drag it up and left and right, let the line go a bit, reel in a bit, rinse and repeat until the fish is tired and you can easily bring it in without risking for the line to break.

This is not always easy and it is influenced by many factors you have to consider: the type of hook you have (larger allows you to catch bigger fish), the line you have, the type of rod you’re using and much more.

Fortunately, in order to get everything right, you don’t have to be an expert fisherman. Each item has its own description in the store so you’ll think you’re a pro fisherman after clicking around for a while. And it’s strangely satisfying, let me tell you that!

But that’s not all! You won’t just spend an entire day listening to hits of the 50s and bagging in trouts as if you’re feeding the world’s entire seal population. No, there’s a bit of RPG involved here as well and tons of unlockable content.

You see, each time you catch a fish, no matter how tiny or huge it is, you gain some experience. Next, you have the choice of letting it go for some additional XP points or sell the fish for some money to spend on getting better gear.

Better gear is expensive and you’ll have to do quite a lot of fishing in order to unlock everything, while leveling up gives you skill points to use and improve your character, as well as the chance to open up new areas for fishing. Really cool!

Visually, Ultimate Fishing Simulator impresses as well. Everything looks good and even though the quality of the animations and some of the physics in the game are not top notch, you’ll have no reasons to complain overall. You actually get some truly spectacular views in the various fishing spots that you can visit and I can only imagine the amazing things a team of modders could do to all those visuals…

All in all, Ultimate Fishing Simulator was an extremely pleasant surprise. We’re talking about fishing sims taken to the next level here. The additional gameplay mechanics and features – although not directly related to the core gameplay which is all about… well… catching fish, make the entire experience so much more pleasant. It is oddly satisfying to immerse yourself into this game’s virtual world and just relax and enjoy the ride.

And this is why I believe you should definitely give Ultimate Fishing Simulator a try – even if fishing is not your main hobby, nor the 10th best thing you’d like to do in the next few days.