What I’m Playing: Fishing with chainsaws and strolling through the forest after dark

Welcome to the weekend! Here's a few of the mobile games I've been playing all week that I think are worth your time and money. Of course, hundreds of new games grace Google Play and the iOS App Store every week, so I've likely missed a few hidden gems. If you're playing something amazing on your mobile device, tell us about it in the comments!

Ridiculous Fishing

$3 on iOS

Wait come back! Yes, Ridiculous Fishing is a game about fishing:  lines are cast, and fish are caught. But the aptly titled app offers so much more—explosions, chainsaws and wizard robes (fashion waits for no fish). The premise is simple: tap the screen to cast your line, and tilt your iOS device to guide your line into the depths of your fishing spot. You’re trying to avoid fish, at least at first—the farther you travel the more plentiful and varied your prey becomes, with rare and exotic species being worth more cash.

Once your line snags a critter it’ll be reeled back in—this is your chance to grab anything you can (except jellyfish, they’re bad). When your line breaks the surface the fish will be launched into the air; execute them with a well-aimed shot (or haphazard spray from a pair of uzis) to earn funds. As you “collect” new species of undersea animal new areas to explore will be unlocked.  Progress comes in the form of upgrades: consider the toaster, which electrocutes the first fish that touches your line. Every fishing spot has a maximum depth, but your line starts out relatively short so you’ll need to spend some cash to upgrade.

Fishing with assault rifles isn’t very sporting, but the game is fun, gorgeous, and definitely worth three bucks. It was developed by the fine folks who brought us Super Crate Box, Hundreds and SpellTower—all excellent games you’d do well to check out.

Super Stickman Golf 2

Free on Android, $0.99 on iOS

While I’m on the subject of sports that usually bore me to tears: Super Stickman Golf 2 is now available for iOS and Android (I played the Android version).  My golfing experience is limited to a few confusing rounds of Mario Golf back in college, but the Super Stickman experience is more akin to games like Worms or Artillery: pick an angle, pick the strength of your shot, and (in my case) hope the ball lands anywhere near your intended target.

I’m horrible at this. But it is quite fun: courses are divided up into tours with steadily increasing difficult levels, though I doubt I’ll ever make it past the second or third. There are also a slew of powerups to unlock and purchase with “Bux,” the game’s currency, or cold hard cash, if you’re so inclined. There are quite a few in-app purchases to wade through, but I didn’t find any of them absolutely necessary, and you can collect a few token Bux as you play through courses. If you enjoyed the original, Super Stickman Golf 2 will likely be worth a buck—it’s also free on Android, as of right now.

Year Walk

$3.99 on iOS

And now for something completely different.

Year Walk is a bit of Myst, coupled with Superbrothers’ Swords and Sworcery and a dash of latent, paranoid terror. It’s an adventure game, if I have to pick a genre. You’re on a year walk, an ancient Swedish practice that’s ostensibly a vision quest that can offer its participants glimpses of the future. There’s quite a bit of mystery afoot—a love interest, cryptic glyphs and tracks in the snow, the occasional frustratingly captivating puzzle that all but demand you keep a notebook handy. I’ll admit I’m generally very confused, but the sights and sounds (all key to making progress on this journey) are rich and alluring; it harkens back to the good old days of point and click adventure gaming with a decidedly modern aesthetic.

There’s a free Year Walk companion app that serves up history lessons, and I find it absolutely vital to making the most out of the whole experience. This game isn’t for everyone: some of the craftier puzzles challenged my resolve to avoid looking up walkthroughs, and I occasionally found myself swiping aimlessly, enjoying the scenery but also completely at a loss as to what to do next. But I enjoy this sort of thing; that “ah ha!” moment when a solution turns out to have been sitting in front of you all along is one of my prime joys in gaming, and Year Walk is chock full of them. It’s only on iOS, but well worth four bucks if you’re looking to drift away for a while.

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