A Fisherman’s Tale is a quiet, adorable adventure full of plundering puzzles and snappy gameplay. It is a delight to play for all members of the family. While some puzzles were frustrating, overall it is a stellar experience and one of the best puzzles games on the Oculus Quest.
A seafaring story
You play as Bob, a lighthouse keeper who is made of wood. Bob has a daily routine: brushing teeth, cleaning the house, and opening the windows to a sunny day. In the middle of the home is a small wooden model of a lighthouse.
But one day, you open the window to see… yourself, but bigger. In fact, reality has bent into itself so that the model, and yourself, are in the same reality. The developers described it as infinite recursion. I describe it as mind-bending, and very cool.
The goal is to light the lighthouse before the storm hurts any sailors at sea. No biggie.
A puzzle game with a heart
So the fisherman deals with several issues along the way. Should a component be shrunk by throwing it out the window? Or should it become bigger by dropping it in the lighthouse window?
I chucked a toothbrush in the lighthouse, and I was almost skewered by the bristles as they toppled to my head.
Saying more would spoil the hints, as there are not many puzzles in the game. At an hour long, the game is best played in a single sitting after work or during the weekend, as a bite-sized chunk of fun content.
Twice I was stuck; once early in the game, and a second time at the final level. I felt the final level was unfair as it added a new mechanic which was not adequately explained or felt fair to solve.
Spoiler: Final Level of A Fisherman’s Tale
Instead of twice, the fisherman has three levels of space-bending, which all need to interact with one another to light the lighthouse.
The task introduced a new mechanic that was not explained properly; grabbing a matchstick behind me. Then placing the matchstick to appear on the other side of the dais.
I felt the game inadequately prepared the player for the moment, so when they did not solve the puzzle, they may have felt cheated.
Does that make A Fisherman’s Tale worth it? It is not a long adventure, not a 15 hour epic. But the puzzles are satisfying, fun, and memorable. Like Portal, another short puzzle game, it uses its mechanics enough for fun and then moves on, without overstaying its welcome. But having said that, I would have liked more fun with the lighthouse on the first level.
Along the journey, the fisherman will meet an array of fun and entertaining characters. A fish that wants some food; a crab that wants to have a hat; and a father who wants to sail to sea.
All the characters have a fun flair to them, propelling the plot along at a decent canter. They add colour to the story, bringing the VR experience to life.
A great story on the Oculus Quest
Overall, A Fisherman’s Tale is a delight to play. With a bubbly plot and mind-bending puzzles, it is a great entry-point for anyone trying VR. The Oculus Quest is also a great platform for the game, with graphics that are good enough.
There is room for a sequel, where I hope it expands on the mechanics laid in the first game.