New PC fishing game teaches tactics
A new PC-based video game may well be the best way for anglers to become better fishermen when they’re not on the water.
It’s more than a typical fishing experience, it’s also a top-drawer game for those people who don’t fish.
Not only does the new Berkley Bass Tournament Tycoon video game from PC game developer digitalBrandplay provide loads of entertainment, it’s a game of tactics and strategy that tests and teaches fishing skills.
If a fishing game could be all things to all people, then it’s likely that this is it. Unlike many video or computer games, BBTT doesn’t rely on skill with a joystick or the ability to sequentially hit several keys quickly. It’s a Tycoon or strategy-style game that requires the player to think and plan.
And nobody gets shot, beheaded or blown up.
It’s a game for all ages, rated E for everyone. There are Sandbox and Challenge gameplay areas where you can play through as three game unique games identities - Master of Fish and Water, Tournament Tycoon and Pro Angler - featuring multiple levels of difficulty.
As a ‘Master of Fish and Water,’ it’s fun and challenging finding an area where the player can contour and populate his dream lake.
In the ‘Tournament Tycoon’ mode, the player learns the ins and outs of planning the tournament — everything from sponsorship dollars to setting entry fees.
In the ‘Pro Angler’ mode, the player gets to fish a tournament, even the one he’s built, as a participant.
In the Challenge section, the player gets to pick one of 18 levels in any of the three game identities. The challenges range in difficulty and may be as simple as whether to fish deep water or shallow, and with which style of lures. They might also be as complex as finding out what needs to be done when an invasive species enters the dream lake.
The challenges are different for each of the three identities, and they test the player’s knowledge of fish and habitat.
The Cool Zone section of the game is a resource center which offers a wealth of bass fishing knowledge in this section to help the player in the game and when he wants to move into the real world of fishing.
“It’s like being in a real-life tournament without having to pay the entry fees.”
While tournament anglers might like the game for its challenges and information, those players who like to fish will appreciate its graphics that put the player in the boat on the lake.
Fishing from the font deck of a bass boat is as cool when done in a game as it can be in real life. In Berkley’s Bass Tournament Tycoon PC game, the player can see what he’s fishing, much as a real-life angler would do with his fishfinder.
As the player maneuvers the boat up to a particular piece of habitat, he can pick the lure he wants to use, just as a tournament fisherman would. The results—whether he catches a fish or not—depends upon the choices he makes.
The real-life appearance of the game is no surprise.
Pro bass fishermen contributed to the database, drawing upon their experience to make the situations and tactics as realistic as possible.
The result is a fishing world with some strong benefits for the angler/player. He or she can keep their mental angling skills sharp in the off-season as well as continue their interest level in fishing while off the water. It’s also possible to see the game as a learning tool, using the fishes’ responses to reflect what happens in the real world in similar situations as those portrayed in the game.
Of course, the fun aspect is reason enough to play Berkley Bass Tournament Tycoon.
However, because the tycoon-style of game is popular with a generation of youngsters more familiar with computer commands than how to rig a plastic worm, this game is a portal through which they can expand their knowledge and interest in fishing and the natural world of fish.
This game is also a good way to spark interest in fishing in younger players as it blends one of the most popular forms of recreation - PC gaming - with a knowledge of the outdoor world and fishing. It’s an easy step from the computer screen to the front deck of a bass boat.
Because the game depicts the natural world of the bass, players with little or no knowledge of fish or fishing can use the game to learn how, where and when fish react as they do.
“This is a perfect fit for kids, whether they like fishing or not,” says 2003 Bassmaster Casting Kids champion Jonny Schultz of Wisconsin. “It’s fun to play, and it’s a great way for kids to start thinking about how much fun fishing is in real life.”
Currently, more than five million fishing video games have been sold in the past seven years, and with 90 percent of U.S. homes have PCs (with 60 percent of those used in part for gaming).
Also, 60,000 fishing fans play fantasy-fishing games at the Bass Anglers Sportsmen’s Society and FLW websites. There also are numerous websites dedicated to bass fishing that have high web traffic, indicating the popularity of the computer-and-fishing link.
Berkley Bass Tournament Tycoon games will be available starting in January 2007 in sporting goods stores as well as normal video/PC game outlets, plus there is also an online version available from many of the popular PC game portals.
Editor’s Note: Offered for $19.99 through retailers nationwide and popular video game internet portals, the Berkley Bass Tournament Tycoon game is rated ‘E’ for everyone. For more information, visit www.basstournamenttycoon.com.