Rookery’s Retro Review: Fishing Derby (Atari 2600)


aFishingD2Overall Score: 5 (of 5), tag more fish than your fishing buddy!

Story:  It’s Saturday at 5 a.m., the sun is just about to peek up from the horizon and you get your fishing buddy on the phone.  “Jimbo!  The weather is perfect today.  Get yer hiney up man, we need to do some fishing!”  Jim can barely find his voice, clears his throat and says, “Wut?  You’re crazy man, I’m still in my green jammies.”  You laugh, “I’m in my red jammies still too.  Just grab your fishing pole, bring your truck and let’s hit the docks.  Pronto hombre!  Move it.”  “Awright, be there in ten minutes.”

At the docks, you sit on pier one, Jim sits at pier two, then you go head to head in a battle to catch 99 pounds of fish.  The lightweight guys are up top, the true heavyweights are down below.  You cannot force a fish to bite the bait but if you get it close to their nose, they may just tag your line.  At that point, reel ’em in (with the fire button) until they reach the surface.  Trouble is, Ol’ Blackie is a well known shark in the water who can steal your catch on the way up.  He’s lazy, only eating fish that can’t run away because they’re hooked on a fishing line.  Dodge and weave with your line to get those fish and avoid the finned theif.


Highlights: Great replayability since fish don’t always bite and the shark variable, easy to play for all ages, overall a fair/balanced game, once snagged fish can’t unhook themselves or pull away, non-combat competition

Lowlights: Dangnabbit that shark!, can get repetitive after a few games

Similar Style Games: Freeway, Air-Sea Battle, Frogs and Flies, M*A*S*H

Final Thought:  Fun time, sometimes funny, especially when you’re passing around the joystick after each game

Know a classic game you’d like to see reviewed?  Leave a comment or send a message.  If I have it & played it enough, I can do my best to write one up!