When we first reviewed A Fisherman’s Tale on PC and PSVR earlier this year, we said this:
“From slow-motion shootouts to trips across the universe and stories of loved ones lost, VR has already proven that each of its core design tenants can be tamed. But A Fisherman’s Tale might be the first to achieve a perfect storm of gameplay, immersion and narrative in a single experience. Though brief, it fuses experience and interactivity to really show what this medium is capable of. This is exactly what old seadogs aren’t meant to be capable of; something genuinely new.”
When I first asked developer Innerspace if it would port its ambitious puzzler to Quest (I think in late 2018), the team seemed skeptical it could be done. Well, they either underestimated their development skills or summoned some dark magic, because A Fisherman’s Tale on Quest is a peerless port of one of our favorite VR games of 2019.
I had feared that some of my enthusiasm for the game might have wained in the 11 or so months since I last visited it. I know that, for some, A Fisherman’s Tale’s brief length is a bit of a deal-breaker. But I found myself enchanted by its dizzying brand of brain-teasing all over again, arguably more so with the freedom provided by Quest.
In A Fisherman’s Tale you play as a reclusive puppet fisherman that awakens to find himself locked inside his lighthouse. In the center of the first room sits a model of that lighthouse, with a tiny version of yourself inside and a larger one outside, mimicking your every movement. Even 11 months on, I find myself stunned at the way the game’s puzzles click in your head, and I still marvel at the moments your brain breaks as you try to process what you’re seeing.
Crucially, the game’s winning art style holds up inside the standalone headset. It has, undeniably, been simplified somewhat, but often only in the most superficial and indifferent of ways. Lighting is a little mistier, for example, and some of the tiny objects plucked from inside the model house don’t carry the same fine details, but there’s nothing in the way of real distractions. Check out our comparison video above for an idea.
That aside, this is a 1:1 port that makes the game easier to enjoy than ever.
A Fisherman’s Tale Quest Review Final Verdict
Like other ports such as Superhot VR, A Fisherman’s Tale seems at its most natural on Quest. The irony isn’t lost on me; the game where you play as a puppet on a string is best-experienced wire-free. For the first time in a while, I found myself wishing I had more space for VR so I could naturally walk around its relatively small levels and bring myself that further bit into the experience. That speaks to just how immersive Innerspace’s micro-masterpiece really is. So grab your headset, because the fisherman’s returned home just in time from Christmas.
Final Score: 5/5 Stars | Fantastic
A Fisherman’s Tale is available on Oculus Quest now for $14.99. For more on how we arrived at this score, see our full review guidelines. We’re also giving you the chance to win the game on Quest on this week’s VRecap!