STAFF REVIEW of Dynamite Fishing - World Games (Xbox One)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016.
by Adam Dileva

Dynamite Fishing - World Games Box art If there was ever a game where you could decipher its core premise from the title alone, Dynamite Fishing – World Games would be near the top of the list. Originally a mobile game, and now on the Xbox One, it revolves around your desire to fish, but in true redneck fashion with dynamite instead of fishing poles. With an unlimited amount of explosives you’re going to blow your way up to the top of the fish catching leaderboards, but the real question is if this console port has anything special to offer over its mobile roots.

When you first start you can only choose a single character in his bathtub, which represents his boat. You will notice that new characters and other boats are unlockable, but they are behind a set number of trophies that you need to obtain. At first some of these unlockables won’t seem like much work, but the amount of time actually required to unlock them is much longer than you expect once you start playing a few levels and you realize how much of a grind it can be.

Played as a side-scroller, your main goal in the game is to catch the most amount of fish by the time you or your opponent reach the finish line. So, you can either rush to the finish line in hopes that they do not catch as many fish as you or you can take your time in each area, gathering more fish, hoping to have more than your opponent by the time they cross the finish line first. It’s a simple idea with very friendly and colorful graphics that my 3 year old seemed to really enjoy watching when I played it.

To throw your unlimited supply of dynamite into the water you simply press the ‘A’ button, and if it makes contact with any fish it will deplete their life bar. Once they’ve been killed, as some fish are very resistant to dynamite apparently, they will float to the top of the water for you to collect as you travel over it. You can toss your dynamite further by pressing up while tossing or throw it right below you by pressing down as you lay on the ‘A’ button. While you may think that combining different toss distances is the best plan, I found it was much more efficient, and simpler, to just press down and hold the ‘A’ button the whole time as you travel left and right. This made it easier to know exactly where the dynamite will drop and places you closer to the fish corpses when you need to collect them.

You need to rack up a bigger haul than your opponent, and when either one of you cross the finish line the one with the most fish in their boat at the time wins, so it’s a little bit strategic in the sense of balancing speed and gathering. At the top of the screen you can see where your opponent is in relation to you and the finish line, so you never have to guess where they might be. Some fish only take a single hit to defeat, while others in the later stages will require numerous hits. Eventually you’ll encounter fish that aren’t going to take your attacks ‘lying down’ andthey will actually fight back, either by trying to ram you or shoot you with their guns and other whacky weapons. It’s silly but it fits the setting and mood of the game.

There are multiple levels, each of which are split into 5 stages. In most games you have to complete each stage before moving onto the next, but Dynamite Fishing – World Games does things slightly different, as you might expect. Once you complete a stage you move onto the next, but you’ll also move onto the next stage if you fail it as well, so the main goal is to have the most fish as a total at the end of all 5 stages. Even if you fail a stage it is totally possible to make up for it in the next one if you’re skilled enough. You can even get halfway through a level then switch to another setting and work on that locale if you wish, as you’re not locked to a specific level at any time. It’s a small detail but it didn’t go unnoticed.

Although your main goal is to catch as many fish as possible, you’ll notice quite early on that you’re also going to have to survive not only a fish rebellion, but also other obstacles that can quickly deplete your life, causing you to sink your boat and fail. Most are standard water geysers and TNT crates, but there are other quirky things to watch out for, like rats, ghosts, and more. The most nefarious enemy you’ll encounter is the selection of bosses. I wasn’t actually expecting anything like this, so it was a welcome addition. Here you have a set amount of time to defeat them before they swim off, earning bonus money and a boat repair if you succeed. While most of these bosses are predictable, some are quite challenging and will no doubt defeat you early on before you have any upgrades purchased.

Speaking of upgrades, you earn money for not only winning stages and finishing a series, but also collecting coins and completing side bonus missions as well. This allows you to purchase upgrades for your selected character and vessel. What’s interesting is that each character and boat have their own single stat that can be increased, and they vary between selection. For example, the redneck and bathtub you begin with allow you to upgrade critical hits for him, and a speed boost for the boat. Once you unlock new characters and boats, they will have different bonuses that can be purchased, so it’s a game of upgrading a lot now versus more later with better choices. It will come down to how much you plan on playing. As I said before, unlocking the final few choices will take a lot of grinding to do so.

As you begin each stage you’re also given a choice 3 special weapons to bring along with you. These are completely whacky and fitting of the redneck theme, such as squirrel bombs, gatling gun, toaster, a nuke (yes, a nuke), and a handful of other crazy weapons. Some are, without a doubt, more powerful than others, as nukes are completely over powered, but they all act in a different way and allows you to choose special power-ups that suits your play style. If you manage to find treasure chests in the water, destroying them can net you a random power-up, or even a dangerous TNT, but it’s always worth taking the time to check, as these special weapons can net you a massive amount of fish in a short time.

The art style is very clean and colorful, completely fitting of the game's setting. The premise is silly and the game itself is humorous overall with its over-the-top wackiness. The audio also fits, but there’s only so many times you can hear the same one-liners over and over until you’ll want to mute the speakers. While I really liked that there’s a bunch of unlockable characters, boats, and even items to cosmetically change your character and vessel, you’re going to have to do a lot of grinding to earn any of the really good ones. You get a trophy for finishing a level (of 5 stages remember), but when you need 40+ trophies for the better unlocks, it can be a daunting goal to achieve.

Although Dynamite Fishing is a fun game, the sad fact is that it is fun only in very small bursts. Even after a single set of 5 stages it becomes a little tiresome. In short spurts it’s a fun way to pass the time, as it was intended to be played that way on mobile devices, but it’s unlikely to hold you attention long enough to earn the best rewards. At its current cheap price point I can recommend it if you’re looking for a simple game to pass a few minutes here and there, but if you’re looking for something with more depth though it’s going to be found elsewhere.

Overall: 5.3 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 4.0 / 10


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