Review – THE Bass Fishing

A few years ago, I reviewed a game called Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure for the Nintendo Switch. Despite featuring some Persona-like visuals and RPG elements, it was a pretty average fishing simulator. Surprisingly, it did not take advantage of one of the Switch’s most underrated features in order to deliver a more interesting experience: motion controls. It’s easy to forget that the Joy-Cons do feature motion capabilities, as very few games nowadays take advantage of them, with The House of the Dead: Remake being a rare exception. This is why I wanted to review THE Bass Fishing from D3 Publisher. I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by a fantastic fishing experience, but when I heard that it would feature motion controls, I wanted to check it out firsthand.

THE Bass Fishing Graphics

THE Bass Fishing is not a looker. But it gets the job done. Kinda.

It’s hard to make a fishing game feel exciting. It is a very unforgiving task for a developer. Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure tried its best, but failed. THE Bass Fishing also tries its best, and almost succeeds. It’s all about the aforementioned motion controls. After partaking through a very underwhelming and confusing tutorial, which is completely comprised of a barrage of slides, you’re given small tasks in order to get a hold of how the game works. It’s basic, and simplistic: THE Bass Fishing is a Switch exclusive, developed with short bursts and portability in mind. It wants you to play short sessions every now and then, and enjoy what little content it offers.

The game as a whole reminded me of a very specific gaming niche: mid-tier Japanese games from the Nintendo 64 era. For some reason, THE Bass Fishing‘s charming, but low-budget presentation reminded me of other charming, but low-budget N64 games from various genres, such as MRC, Chameleon Twist, Fighters Destiny, and even some fishing simulators. It features the same kind of visuals and upbeat soundtrack, which are beyond simplistic, but decent overall. It features decent fish models, a passable framerate, but dated backgrounds and UI.

THE Bass Fishing Fish On

What every uncle tells his nephew when he is desperately trying to make him become interested in fishing.

So, as a fishing game itself, THE Bass Fishing does very little to stand out in terms of content and mechanics. What really makes it a better game over any other fishing game on the Switch, and arguably any other fishing game released over the past few years, is the addition of motion controls. By using the Joy-Cons to emulate the motions of reeling in, and even casting a line, the game becomes a lot more interesting, without ever feeling clunky or physically exhausting. As long as you pay attention to the initial instructions (the game explains everything in detail, but in a boring and static manner), you’ll have a good time with these controls.


A very dramatic and over-the-top catching cinematic. Because it’s a Japanese game after all.

Don’t expect a lot from THE Bass Fishing, other than being a passable and competent fishing simulator for a niche audience. Even if its presentation and amount of content leave a lot to be desired, it stands out from its competition with some really good motion controls, being one of the very few recent Switch games to take advantage of the Joy-Con’s capabilities. If you are a fishing aficionado, go for it, as I doubt a better game than this one will show up for any modern system. If not, there is very little in THE Bass Fishing that will win you over.


Graphics: 6.0

It looks passable. Passable fish models, decent framerate, dated-as-hell backgrounds and UI. It feels like a Nintendo 64 game running on an emulator with an HD patch.

Gameplay: 8.0

Not fun or intuitive with traditional controls, but a lot more interesting and immersive than initially expected when using the game’s motion controls. The highlight of the game, for sure.

Sound: 6.0

The soundtrack, while not exactly memorable, sounds somewhat… nostalgic? It reminded me of better times playing the Nintendo 64, weirdly enough. There is also a bit of voice acting, but nothing overly spectacular.

Fun Factor: 6.0

It’s a passable fishing game that feels like a Nintendo 64 title from twenty-five years ago. It’s janky and dated, but it oozes a bit of charming nostalgia, somehow. What makes this game stand out from the rest is its motion controls.

Final Verdict: 6.5

THE Bass Fishing is available now on Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of THE Bass Fishing was provided by the publisher.