Mgaia Studios’ Legend of the Skyfish introduces players to a whole new type of fishing experience. This lighthearted, level-based puzzle adventure was first published by Crescent Moon Games for PC in 2017 and by Ratalaika Games this summer for consoles. Legend of the Skyfish follows a young girl in her quest to destroy the evil Skyfish using her mightiest weapon — a fishing rod.
It’s very clear that Legend of the Skyfish was inspired by the classic and iconic Legend of Zelda games, particularly the notoriously adorable Wind Waker. You are a small hero, Little Red Hook, appropriately dressed in a red robe, traveling through a series of hand-painted, beautiful islands filled with lush greenery, gentle blue waters…and booby traps. Spikes, spears, and timed gates clutter your path. Oh, and some fish armed with axes as well as fire-breathing seahorses. But none of these things are a match for your fishing pole.
Legend of the Skyfish follows a typical linear level format, accompanied by some standard adventurous music composed by Sean Beeson. Three worlds make up the adventure, with 14 levels and one boss battle in each (making for a whopping 45 levels in total). The end of each level is marked by a totem that must be destroyed to continue. Legend of the Skyfish kept me busy for a bit longer than I expected it to. I would guess that in one sitting, completion would take about three to four hours.
As far as plot goes, there isn’t too much background provided about the Legend of the Skyfish and why he (she?) is a legend. Here’s what we know: Fishermen got greedy. The fish got angry. The fish staged a coup and took over the lands, but Little Red was spared and rescued by a friendly Moonwhale. Now, Little Red and Moonwhale are on a mission to save Little Red’s brother.
I was disappointed to see that the tale of Skyfish didn’t further develop as the game continued. The completion of each world provided the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into the lore, but nothing came, even in the finale.
Legend of the Skyfish‘s main action involves casting your line to grab hold of a hatch in the distance and pulling yourself ahead. In addition, your fishing rod acts as a weapon that takes your enemies out with just a few direct hits. I found this to be a bit underwhelming. If you play your cards right, you don’t even have to do any work to get rid of your enemies. They’re prone to death by accidentally stepping on a spike, just like you.
None of the enemies pose too much of a threat, although it seems as though the real challenge is meant to be the obstacles. Try running across a bed of motion-activated spikes while simultaneously avoiding hits from a timed spear gun. It takes some concentration.
Each of the 45 levels in Legend of the Skyfish exhibits a bit more of a challenge, whether it be with more obstacles, more enemies, or more length. That being said, by Level 10, there was a clear pattern and I knew what to expect going forward. Some levels took a few tries to get through, but none were totally impossible (which I’m thankful for).
A boss battle signals the end of each map, but just like Legend of the Skyfish‘s small enemies, these battles were very underwhelming. This felt like a bit of a rip considering that the game’s description boasts “epic boss fights.” Again, all it took was a few whacks from Little Red’s trusty fishing rod (along with dodging a few counterattacks) to take these bosses down, even the big, bad Skyfish at the end.
If you’re lucky enough to come across treasure chests on your journey, you can upgrade your fishing rod, your hook, and even your outfit. However, I found that these upgrades didn’t quite meet their mark, either. I never saw enough of a difference in the tools to care which one I used.
At its surface, Legend of the Skyfish is an innocent source of entertainment for gamers of all ages. Unfortunately, Little Red’s fishing pole doesn’t seem to go much deeper than that, just barely reeling in its full potential.