The road to UploadVR’s Best of 2019 awards starts here! We’re getting close to revealing our Overall VR Game/Experience of the Year after counting down to the reveal of our full list of categories and nominees soon. Today we’re looking at A Fisherman’s Tale, which is a mind-bending VR puzzler that consistently surprises with its inventive mechanics.
A Fisherman’s Tale is developed by Innerspace and published by Vertigo Games. In it you play as a tiny little puppet in a tiny little lighthouse. Located in the middle of your home is an even tinier model version of that same lighthouse that you can lean down to look at and see a replica of your surroundings, complete with a smaller version of yourself inside the replica that matches everything you do. And to complete the loop if you look out your window you’ll see a giant version of yourself in a larger home that’s also matching your every move.
What follows in A Fisherman’s Tale is a mesmerizing experience that shifts perspectives and really forces you to think outside the proverbial and literal box more than just a few times. It’s the rare sort of experience that leaves you mouth agape, in awe, and constantly muttering to yourself, “Oh wow, that was cool,” from start to finish.
The poetic narration, delightful visuals, cozy setting, and self-aware narrative beats help sell the experience even further. Unlike most games in this genre, in A Fisherman’s Tale you don’t need to be a savant at spatial awareness and tricky puzzle solving to find pleasure here — it’s just as much about making you think as it is about subverting your expectations.
In Jamie’s original review from earlier this year of the PC VR version he wrote:
“This isn’t simply swapping tiles and pushing buttons in order; it’s genuinely stimulating puzzling. Early levels have you bending your brain to the breaking point as you reason your way through the model paradox. At one point you turn a hefty obstacle into a level-progressing key. Later on, you repurpose some seemingly useless furniture to reveal hidden secrets. Oh, and then you turn a fish into a taxi service. Brilliant!
This is the kind of reality-defying gameplay that thrives in this medium.”
Luckily A Fisherman’s Tale was also ported to the standalone Oculus Quest and feels identical. If anything, it’s actually better with the added freedom and now stands as the best version of the game.
The only real negatives we found during our time with A Fisherman’s Tale is that it just feels a bit too short, coming in just around two hours, but the ride itself is amazing while it lasts.