Dovetail Games Euro Fishing is another simulation title from the makers of Train Simulator, offering a digital facsimile of lake fishing that’s far more realistic than the majority of other fishing titles currently available. However, does its authenticity damage its enjoyment?

It will for some, Euro Fishing’s recreates the experience of fishing realistically enough so to make it unappealing to those not enamoured by the sport. However, if you’re looking for some out of season fishing or don’t fancy the weather outside, Euro Fishing is sure to provide a great substitution.

A comprehensive tutorial offers an accessible, multi-stage set of lessons to teach you not only the mechanics of the game but also the tricks involved in the real thing, introducing you to bait and float types, showing you how to cast your line, and educating you on what to look out for and how to best reel in those precious fish.

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Meanwhile, outside of the tutorial you have the choice of singleplayer fishing against the AI in all manner of tournaments or overcoming challenges, free fishing simply for the fun of it, and an online offering allowing you to competitively fish against your friends or in tournaments against the wider player-base.

It appears to be a fairly barebones set of options but what’s here encapsulates the sport of lake fishing nicely. There are five real-world lakes to fish in: The Observatory, L’arène, Digger Lake, St John’s Lake, and Presa Del Monte Bravo. Meanwhile, seven species of fish – Roach, Bream, Tench, Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Leather Carp and the Wels Catfish – test your skills and wits. And indeed this simulator truly does test your abilities. Casting to the right area of a lake, baiting your hook with the right bait, fighting the fish should you be lucky enough to get a bite, picking the right peg to cast from, and managing multiple rods at the same time, all require some thoughtful preparation and strategy for you to find any success. As such it’s a remarkably competent simulation.

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However, some issues do damage the enjoyment and sense of realism. Lengthy load times are frustrating and it’s common for the camera to be obstructed each time it tries to celebrate a fish you’ve caught with a panning shot. Meanwhile, a lack of fine details makes the environments look overly bright and gamey. However, the gamification with the named ‘boss fishes’ which are highly prized but difficult fish to catch, is a nice touch, and if the tricky, analogue stick realistic casting gets on your nerves it can be changed to a more arcadey button pressing option.

It’s disappointing that your fishing antics are restricted to lakes and only seven species of fish, but it’s a strong foundation for more content in either DLC or a sequel. It’s certainly a bit of a niche title but one that caters to its audience splendidly. If you’re a keen fisher then Dovetail Games Euro Fishing is going to suit you wonderfully, if fishing isn’t really your thing, then you’ll find this too weighted toward simulation to enjoy.

Thanks to Xbox and Dovetail Games for supporting TiX