If the pandemic has been good for anything, it triggers completely inexplicable obsessions and hobbies that only last a few weeks before I move on to the next shiny thing. For a while, one of my obsessions was finding a good fishing game.
Now I have crawled before with my family. I know that in fact fishing is not the quiet, meditative experience that video games condense into small games. Real fishing can be boring as hell, and if you get some action, it can be rough and smelly. In addition, killing a living creature is a hobby. Obviously someone just throws fish back, but dealing with messy aspects like pulling a hook out of a friend̵
But think about what fishing is like idea. Doesn’t that sound relaxing and potentially meditative? Why is it not a game that taps into that feeling while removing the unglamorous sides of fishing? Sure, there is a long list of RPGs that catch fish as an option in a larger experience, but I was struck by the fact that I could not name a single game that passed a vibe check while also doing fishing in full focus.
At the time, I did some short-term research and found some alternatives, but they were not exactly what I was looking for. It was hyper-realistic games that sucked the romance out of idea of fishing, along with some very old games that could only be played on machines I do not own. I was convinced that there must be more people like me out there, who have no desire to become seasick IRL, but want to buy a healthy fishing game in their heart.
All this to say that I am psyched to see the announcement of Moonglow Bay, an upcoming role-playing game with a novice fisherman. Fishing is not just a nice distraction here – it’s the whole premise of the voxel game, according to the game’s description on Steam:
With a journal and rod in hand, you can explore the longest part of the ocean, from frozen glaciers to boiling geysers, learn how to cast nets, set traps and fish through ice, and document over 100 different aquatic species while discovering the secrets of Moonglow Bay.
That’s how developer Bunnyhug heard my prayers. While it’s an overarching story that refers to some rare, mysterious creatures you can catch, the overall mood of the game seems much more chiller than that. You will be busy with things like making the day’s catch, upgrading your boat and nurturing the relationship with the townspeople. In addition, there is cooperation.
There is no set release date, but it will hit Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X (via Xbox Game Pass) sometime in 2021. Judging by the success of franchises like Story of Seasons or Stardew Valley, and the wider obsession with cottagecore over the past year, there is clearly a market for more types of slice-of-life games like this.