In 2019, A Fisherman’s Tale was released, a VR title that won impressions, mainly because, despite its short length, it managed to compensate with some really good puzzle mechanics. This recognition allowed creator InnerspaceVR to proceed with a second installment, Another Fisherman’s Tale for PSVR2. With a longer duration and completely different mechanics, let’s see if it’s worth it.
Another Fisherman’s Tale features Nina, the daughter of Bob the Fisherman. When he was a child, he told her terrible and terrible stories of his adventures at sea. For each of his stories, Bob had made dioramas with Nina, which Nina now returns to, as she is now an adult in the basement of his parents’ house and collects them. Each time Nina recalls one of the dioramas, you play as Bob and experience the corresponding story. In his stories, Bob’s goal is to locate Libertalia, the mythical island of freedom that the pirates believed in. To achieve this, he goes through many waves (metaphorically and literally), faces pirates and monsters and of course has to solve many puzzles.
I wouldn’t want to go into too much detail about the story of the game, as there are no big surprises, I think it’s best to find out for yourself. What I will say is that this is a simple and very moving story that concerns all of us and is told very beautifully and with the appropriate emotional charge. I specify that the dioramas arranged by Nina are five in number, as many as the chapters of the game, each of the chapters concerning an adventure of Bob. The total duration is longer than the first part, but still does not exceed five hours. Nevertheless, I think it’s ideal, because if it were a little bigger the toy would probably make a “belly”.
In the adventures you experience as Bob, the game’s puzzle character can be seen. This time there is something new. First of all, the game is not limited to Bob’s lighthouse, but includes a variety of locations, from boats and container ships to the seabed. Also, new to the gameplay is that Bob is like a puppet whose head and arms you can remove and use as you wish. The arms can be ejected from Bob’s body to grab distant objects, or once ejected you can manipulate them (i.e. make them “walk” or “swim”) to reach objects, levers, locks or other things located away from Bob’s body. At the same time, Bob’s hands are interchangeable – you can replace them with grappling hooks, crab claws, other hands, etc. With the grappling hooks you can grab high places and thus reach high places. With the pliers you can cut ropes, chains or the like. A nice touch is when you put miniature forklift stirrups in place of Bob’s hands, which then control the full-sized stirrups. So when you move your hands at the same time, the stirrups of the machine follow your movements.
At the same time, Bob’s head is also ejectable. You can place it in special places, which open up mechanisms, but the main way to use it is to get line of sight to places out of reach. So you can toss your head to a high or low platform to check what’s at that moment, then drop your hands there as well. This way you can manipulate Bob’s hands even in places his body cannot reach.
This manipulation is very original and the truth is that when it comes to puzzles, the mechanics work perfectly. Sometimes you have to “tighten” your little head a little, but solving each puzzle rewards you. The problem is more in the grip. The arms are launched with the triggers and then move forward, while to give direction to the arms you wave your wrist while holding the Sense controller. However, this direction of each hand is something very difficult to achieve. As a result, there are many nerve-wracking periods as your target is right in front of each hand but you can’t point the hand at it. Otherwise the handling is simple. You can move with the stick or by teleporting – the game has all the familiar comfort settings.
In terms of graphics, Another Fisherman’s Tale follows its predecessor. It’s quite pleasing to the eye, with lots of bright colors, but in several places it looks a bit amateurish and poor. Basic models, textures and special effects keep the title one step back. I think a little more detail and less rough models would help the visuals of the game a lot. On the other hand, the game totally compensates for the sound. The performances of the actors who play the various characters are amazing, while all of your adventures are accompanied by music and songs that are full of sea-fishing pirate life and wow listeners. Where I have apprehensions is in the area of immersion. While the first game was based on a concept and game mechanics promoting immersion, here we rarely have the impression of being in a virtual world. On the one hand, the graphics, on the other hand, the manipulation with the hands, are things that dampen the feeling of VR. On the contrary, I think the game itself would benefit from being released outside of VR, as it is particularly laid back and relaxing.
Another Fisherman’s Tale is a beautiful and moving experience. It does not claim top quality laurels, nor a AAA title. But it has clever puzzles to solve, a story you’ll relate to, and enjoyable gameplay. Worth your attention if you want to spend a beautiful Sunday with your PSVR2.
- Beautiful touching story
- excellent music
- Original puzzle mechanism
- Disappointing immersion
- Tight handling in places
- Poor graphics
- Short duration