The first time I ever went fishing with my family, we set up the equipment, sat down, and waited. It took hours before we had a nibble, and even then, it was nothing.
The Catch: Carp and Coarse avoids this monotony that pure fishing, especially when replicated as a video game, would experience while also not lowering itself to the level of Animal Crossing where fish practically beg to be caught.
The Catch: Carp and Coarse Launch Trailer
Like many games in the sports genre, The Catch relies heavily on its predecessors for gameplay direction.
This is not a criticism, however, as Fishing Sim World is a beloved game for many fishing fans, regarded as a game that took great strides in advancing the fishing genre.
STREET FISHING: Rotterdam was probably my favourite location.
Many fans of the series compare crudely The Catch to an extension of previous titles, and while this ignores the extra gameplay elements Dovetail Games added to their latest release, it does highlight the best aspect of The Catch- the locations.
The developers at Dovetail Games have drastically improved the graphics and overall look of their fishing simulation games, and The Catch takes full advantage of this, immersing you in six different environments that further emphasise the variety of ecosystems across the world.
No matter where you are, however, the stars of the show are always the fish. Every fish has undergone quite the transformation since Dovetails’ previous game. There is an added focus on the preferences and behaviours of each species, making it easier to track down a specific fish to complete your species compendium.
Boss fish, now a staple of Dovetail’s fishing sims, really live up to their legendary status in The Catch as they are an extremely rare find, much to the frustration of completionists everywhere (take that as a positive or a negative).
Aside from its fantastic menu screen that doubles as a fish-based screensaver, here's everything included in The Catch: Carp and Coarse.
BACKGROUND: When you leave The Catch: Carp and Coarse on for long enough, the UI disappears leaving this relaxing screensaver.
This is the base mode of The Catch, essentially acting as a free play session that allows you to learn more about the environment and movements of different species of fish.
All five locations are available to play from when you first launch up the game, and these are:
- Loch Mickle (Scotland)
- Oxlease Lake (England)
- Pearl Lake (Malaysia)
- River Ebro (Spain)
- Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Aside from locations, you can change the weather and time of day.
This is the natural step up from your free fishing sessions, pitting you against the best names in angling across all five locations.
There are five types of events available to compete in, and these are:
- Grand Slam
- Species Hunter
While you can customise the qualifying species of fish for these events, the lack of any other settings may hold this mode back in the long-term.
You will gain Tackle Points (TP) based on your positioning in these events.
The Catch’s multiplayer mode allows you to create your own fishing events for up to four players (eight on PC).
If you host these events, you can change the following settings:
- Number of Rounds
- Time of Day
- Time Limit
- Catchable Species
While you can host private multiplayer events, public sessions are available, although I found it hard to join a public session that ever had more than one other player to compete against.
The Online Leagues mode sees players competing on a leaderboard for TP. To make your way up this leaderboard, you can compete in four different series of events, and these are:
- Hunter Series
- Carp Series
- Predator Series
- Coarse Series
It costs 100TP to enter these events, and you only have three attempts per series.
The Catch: Carp and Coarse may have similar elements to its predecessors, but its upgraded gameplay elements and absolutely stunning locations fully justify its price.
BOSS: Catching boss fish is a rare experience in The Catch.
While The Catch is marketed to experienced anglers, the extensive tutorials will have even the novice fishers telling a Roach from a Rudd in no time.
Dovetail’s emphasis on the putting the focus back on the fish really shines through, but Boss fish encounters are too sporadic for players to seek out 25 per location.
If Dovetail continues to support their Online Leagues and multiplayer competitions down the line, there’s no reason The Catch couldn’t become a staple of the fishing genre for years to come.
RealSport Rating: 4 out 5 stars
The Catch: Carp and Coarse is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC for £19.99.