How best to describe A Fisherman’s Tale. Hmm, well, think of it this way. Imagine yourself falling down the rabbit hole, but instead of hitting the bottom, you just keep going in an endless loop again and again. Throw some mind bending puzzles into that mixture and add a splash of VR. Then, my dear readers, you have A Fisherman’s Tale. Created by developers Inner Space VR and published by Vertigo Games, this title was released on the 22nd January 2019.
A Fisherman’s Tale
Being fairly new to the world of VR, I’m on the lookout for new and exciting games to play. SO, when the opportunity came to review this title, I jumped at the chance. I’ve played games like Beat Saber, Elite: Dangerous in VR and many more. Now, normally, at first glances looking at this title, I went into it blind. I was thankful I chose this way to play this title. As previously stated in my opening of this review, perceptions of reality are kicked out of the window. What’s up is down, and whats’s left is right. Confused yet? So was I, but the more I played, the more I wanted to engage with the world I found myself in.
World Within Worlds
It’s as it says, the world you find yourself in is that of a lighthouse. Every nook and cranny is filled with items that make it homely yet strange at the same time. Being able to see yourself in the lighthouse mirror and see that you’re a wooden puppet. Objects hang from the walls reminding you that the sea is who you are. Then after looking around, a smaller version of the lighthouse you reside in sits in the middle of the room. Slowly peeling off the roof, you see a smaller version of yourself doing exactly what you’re doing. When I first witnessed this, I was in genuine awe at the scope of what had been achieved here. This is where the fun begins.
Thinking Outside of The Box
The puzzle elements of this VR title are what lie at its core. The concept has been built around it. Nothing is as it seems, and to navigate your way through, out of the box thinking is required. Plus, with the gameplay being split into chapters, you get to experience the mechanics in engaging ways to truly see how the developers have utilised the freedom of movement of the VR and seamlessly blend it with charming puzzles the likes of which you would find in games such as The Witness, Portal 1 + 2 and the like. In my attempts to solve the puzzles, I found myself questioning my own laws of physics.
At one point, I was just playing around with moving some of the objectsa round and watching them move inside my ‘mini’ lighthouse and just laughing at the movement. Then, I accidentally let go of the plate I was holding into the ‘mini’ lighthouse, and it fell out of the sky, scaring me to death because I didn’t realise what happens inside also happens outside. If you can keep up with that, you are doing well. That’s when it clicked. The world is how you solve the puzzles. Knowing this, I went to the window and saw that bigger versions of me were going on forever in an endless loop, which is both terrifying and fun to witness in equal measure.
I don’t want to go into too much detail on the puzzles as this would be spoiling the surprises they have in store. Each chapter has puzzles that you solve with the core concept of the game in each section. Whilst all these puzzles are being delivered to you, it has a narrative that gently pulls you along without being intrusive or brash. Running alongside the world, there are little hints and references to other topics of lineage and self incarceration but without it being too cliched as to wear thin on the person playing. I found the narration to be oddly calm and serene, never rushing you but always there to offer help in the form of hints and clues when needed.
For this title, there are only two drawbacks I can point out, and they are as follows: The tracking of the cameras and the length of the title. Now, both of these issues are minor but need to be mentioned. When playing in my VR space, I was constantly on the defensive as to not hit anything as even though I could see the boundaries, the cameras were not always able to track me, and I found myself outside the levels at times. Most importantly though, the game’s biggest flaw is that it was too short. I was engaged and excited and wanted to play more, to solve more, and then it ends…and I found myself standing there wishing there was another chapter because I was having so much fun.
All in all, A Fisherman’s Tale is a thoroughly enjoyable experience from start to finish, and with its warm tones and topics explored with care, you’ll be left wanting more, which is never a bad thing. After all, it’s not every day you get to ride inside a fish taxi.
Developer: Inner Space VR
Publisher: Vertigo Games
Platforms: PS4, PC
Release Date: 22nd January 2019