TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Ridiculous Fishing EX’

The original Ridiculous Fishing is a stone-cold classic mobile game, made by a supergroup of some of the top indie developers in the industry. It’s not only a mechanically fun game that has a gorgeous and unique art style, but it also had to overcome a huge cloning scandal before it ever released, something that emotionally drained everyone involved with making it. The fact that Ridiculous Fishing released at all back in 2013 is a huge accomplishment, but that it was so genuinely fantastic and earned so many awards (including our Game of the Year award) had to be major confirmation for the developers and a wonderful reward for their persistence through all the drama.

But that was the original game, and that was more than a decade ago. Time has not been too kind to Ridiculous Fishing, and while it technically “works" on modern iOS devices, there are scaling issues and weird bugs all over the place that pretty much render it unplayable. It’s a tough position because players want their games to work even if they were bought many years ago, and trust me developers want that too, but it isn’t always financially or technically feasible to keep games updated and working properly. Who knows the last time anyone dove into the game’s codebase or what condition it’s in, and Apple doesn’t make things any easier with their tendency to drop entire technologies or make major changes to iOS in the name of progress.

No, at this point it would definitely make the most sense to simply start from scratch. And so that supergroup of original developers partnered up with KO-OP Mode, an ultra-stylish developer probably most well-known for the whimsical GNOG, with Apple playing the role of producer, to rebuild this classic from the ground up. Of course, that also means this new refreshed version, titled Ridiculous Fishing EX, is an Apple Arcade exclusive, so keep that in mind.

The core concept is the same: You’ll drop your fishing line in the water, try to avoid coming into contact with any sea creatures while your hook and line are sinking downwards, and then when you inevitably do snag onto something your line will then change course and begin to rise. Now the goal flips and you want to actually snag as many sea creatures as possible (but maybe not those jerk jellyfish) on the way up, and once your huge mass of sea life reaches the surface they’ll all fly into the air where you then blast them with a variety of interesting weaponry.

Yes, the concept is just as absurd as it ever was, and this extremely entertaining core gameplay loop is again bolstered with one of the smoothest progression systems around, just as in the original Ridiculous Fishing. It’s hard to not cast just one more line, unlock one new item, or go for one more high score. Probably the biggest change in this remake is the fully 3D visuals. The art style of the original was one of its standout features, and thankfully that strange angular style has been retained in Ridiculous Fishing EX, just with more depth and much more lively animations. It also has a kind of bright and happy vibe to it, which is par for the course with KO-OP.

There are a few other changes that are more inline with today compared to ten years ago, like your upgrades being delivered by a drone or the in-game Twitter parody being replaced with a TikTok parody. This feels very much like the Ridiculous Fishing we all knew and loved, but for modern times. I would still do anything for OG Ridiculous Fishing to be updated with just basic new device support, but I am so so happy that Ridiculous Fishing EX is something that exists. I’m having a blast re-living this great experience in a new way, and I’m thrilled that an entirely new generation can now experience one of iOS’s greatest ever original titles.

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