Rule with an Iron Fish – review
Follow Genre: Casual, Adventure
Developer: Kestrel Games
Publisher: Kestrel Games
Platform: PC,
Tested on: PC

Rule with an Iron Fish – review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Many funny references, story progression
Bad: Becomes a drag in some parts
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

We know that most fishing games are hardcore simulators or cool arcade games, from Sega Bass Fishing to Fishing Planet. Some may wonder how to create a game about catching these sea creatures that is both fun and playable without having to wait a long time. Some prefer the tactical mini-game in Yakuza where you need to carefully place the bait and apply the right force in the right direction. Rule with an Iron Fish is a more relaxing arcade fishing game that would fit perfectly on a mobile device, but yet is better on PC.

Rule_With_an_iron_Fist_Logo

Story

Our story starts with the royal siblings Ironfish who are spending their free time being total pricks because they want to plunder and be a pirate. All of the sudden karma strikes hard and as the weather turns bad they receive an unexpected visitor. This new ‘friend’ wants to give our little pirates a big fat hug and breaks their ship in the progress. With the sister gone, the boy makes a vow to save his kin from the Kraken and as he enters the pirate port, the game starts. Building a reputation is hard for these wanderers of the sea so step by step the story progresses and sooner or later you will discover what happened to your relative. The hub itself will also expand its tales with the new visitors each telling what’s happening around these waters and if you are not careful you may lose track of your initial quest. The main story is not really rich, as said it is easy to get sidetracked thanks to the many errands you are given, this does not really hurt the gameplay though.

Graphics

Rule with an Iron Fish has a visual layout that reminds us of a mobile game, but it is not a port of any kind. Thanks to this presentation it makes the game stand out in each level. Every island is its own biotope and it is very well presented by the colors and lighting used. The visuals are very smooth and made of nicely hand drawn art. Characters come in all shapes and forms, you will notice newly bought items as an upgrade so it is nice to be able to traverse the seas in your big boat or if you feel humble why not take the raft to the volcano level.

Rule with an Iron Fish 01

Sound

You will get in the mood with the calming tune on the background, a relaxing guitar tune plays as you explore the bay and some fishing places also play a good song that reminds us of medieval times. There is not much variation in songs or sound effects, this is a bit sad since they set such a good mood with their visuals and in some levels they do not add more character with a fitting song.

Gameplay

Rule with an Iron Fish is an adventure game in which you have to fish your way to the top. As an aspiring pirate that suddenly sees his life washed away and his sibling being lost this means that you better grab that fishing rod and start collecting some fish. It all begins with a shortcoming of food, after the bellies of the stranded friends are fed you will slowly start to expand your pirate legion by saving stranded people or just new visitors to the bay. These guests bring quests with them and by completing these you may get or unlock new and better gear that was previously not available.

Rule with an Iron Fish 04

At first you may only traverse to the first island with your little raft, the goal there is to collect some fish for the hungry pirates and return. After this errand you will get some money and get plans to create a better ship. This all boils down to you selling fish for gold, collecting parts in the progress and slowly but surely being able to afford upgrades for your equipment. There are two ways of unlocking new stuff, the first is to level up by fishing and other activities, the second one is to complete side quests and receive these upgrades to buy in the store (yarr pirates are greedy). One of the most important upgrades is your hook, because the better it is the bigger fish you can catch. You select where you want to throw your line and with some patience a fish will start to bite, this is shown with a colored circle and a sweet zone. When the circle enters the sweet zone you must click to reel in the fish and if this is done a bit too late or the fish is strong you also need to push the corresponding keys to put pressure on the line and be successful. Naturally you cannot fish with just an empty hook, in the bait shop you will buy fresh bait or can opt for a more luxury treat to up the chances of rare fishes showing up.

Because you run an island and people stay hungry this means that you make a living selling fish, this gold comes in handy to be able to expand your capabilities and get bigger and better fish. Sometimes when lady luck is on your side a rare fish may appear, these have a pulsing gold color and when caught bring in the big bills. While out on the pond you may notice treasure chests or random junk floating around. Pick this up because of some pirate magic you build new ships out of these. With each new ship you are able to visit another island, and since each one is very unique you better ‘collect them all’.

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Unfortunately you are not alone on the seas as other groups like Vikings and dimension warriors also want a piece of the cake and what’s a better way to fight them off by destroying their fishing lines and stealing the fish they catch. This fun mini game shows up sometimes and rewards a victory with XP and random loot.

The overall progress of the game is rather slow at some points, since you are left with basically RNG (random number generation for fish spawns) and you need to catch certain species or amounts to get farther. After the initial drag the game picks up speed just to slow down a bit after, this is why the ‘luck’ based gameplay can cause boredom for some, while others enjoy the more gambling approach. Another fun thing about this game is its many cultural references towards other games, movies, icons, memes and many more.

Conclusion

Rule with an Iron Fish can be a fun game to relax after work, but if you are a person that likes a steady progress it could become a little bit frustrated since you are locked on the RNG factor of the fish spawns. Some missions can be easily cleared and you feel like you are blazing through the game, only to be stopped shortly after. The visuals are great and the overall setting shows that the place where you stranded is a great vacation spot to rethink the things you have done in the past.

Rule with an Iron Fish 02

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Rule with an Iron Fish – review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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