In the virtual reality game Bait! by Resolution Games, players are brought to Bait Island with one simple mission: capture a variety of beautiful fish–the “prehistoric perch” in particular–and return them to the aquarium so that your employer can save her aquarium from bankruptcy. You can find it on the Oculus Go Marketplace.
Arriving on Bait Island as a nameless fisherman, my first order of business was to get a basic lay of the land. Luckily, I was provided with a high-tech “Fish-O-Matic” fishing box, equipped with a map, access to my character’s full inventory, and a communication device that helped me receive directives from your employer.
Almost instantly, it became abundantly clear that I needed help from the locals in order to have a chance at finding the fabled and elusive prehistoric perch. Before long, I found myself making strong connections and mutually-beneficial partnerships with locals as they guided me on my quest. The two local characters I interacted with were Jim-Bob, and Dharma-Mae, two siblings who gave many insights on fishing in Bait Island in exchange for favors like delivering them rare fish.
What initially presents itself as a simple and short game is full of plot twists and a satisfying ending. It takes about 2-3 hours to finish the story, and an additional hour or so to complete the side missions.
To players’ delight, the virtual reality engineers at Resolution Games make Bait! as immersive an experience as possible. By employing premier-quality virtual reality technology, Resolution created an incredibly vivid virtual world.
There are four lakes with different vibes and aesthetics to explore. The colors are vibrant, and the depth with which they craft your surroundings contribute greatly to an overall feeling of being in the game. I personally played the game in my office chair, and looked at the cupholder in the in-game fishing chair for my real-life cell phone more times that I’d like to admit.
While the game has great depth for an early virtual reality game, luckily, the controls are very simple. Angling the Oculus Go remote moves a small indicator that hovers over the water and shows where the hook will land, and holding down on the touchpad locks the indicator in place. Then, you simply need to flick the remote and release the touchpad to throw out your line. Fish approach and nibble on the bait, causing the line to bob. When a fish is able to be reeled in, the line submerges and a yellow exclamation mark pops up in its place. You then pull on the trigger to reel it in.
The next process adds major suspense to the game, particularly when dealing with rare fish that only appear every once in a while; the game keeps track of the tension (as shown by a bar that goes from green to red) on the line, and causes you to have to compensate for the tension by releasing and pulling the trigger according to the color on the bar. If the tension is high (red), you must release the trigger until it drops down to green, but pull on it before the fish takes advantage of the slack and swims away. If you are successful, the fish is reeled out of the water and you are given a score for your catch while it is put on display in front of you. The heavier the fish is within its category, the higher the score.
Bait! allows players to indulge in the pleasantries of a fishing trip from the comfort of their home with virtual reality. Carefully crafted and beautifully balanced, the game will keep you coming back for more, and keep you on the hook even after you’ve beaten it.