Playing With Reed: Dredge - The Fishing Game That Made Fishing Fun

(This trailer does not include actual gameplay.)

 When it comes to video games, one of the features I tend to hate the most is fishing. It's usually difficult with the controls and expects you to spend a lot of time in one place just catching fish.

I've never been fishing before, but I imagine it's a bit like that in real life. 

Official Launch trailer featuring some game play.

I can't remember where I saw Dredge recommended to me, but I was hooked on the potential for cosmic horror right away. Never mind that this was a fishing game - bring on the tentacles and Cthulu-esque game lore! What surprised me when I started this game was how varied the different type of fish were, and how easy it was to get into catching them once you had the right equipment to do so. There were a few different timed puzzles to get items and fish, but the big deal was finding the fish to begin with in the tiny boat the Mayor of Marrow has graciously given you (rather, that you have to pay off). 

There is an anxiety mechanic - you start to panic a bit more as weird things happen, as your ship is attacked or you accidentally steer into rocks that mysteriously appear before you while you move around looking for more fish to catch. 

There are two really important characters beyond your fisherman: The Collector and the Lighthouse Keeper. The Collector wants you to find five very important objects. He offers you a mysterious reward for each one returned and gives you a special ability each time you show up with one. He has a crimson and silver book that looks suspiciously like it might belong behind some locked doors in the Miskatonic University's library. The Lighthouse Keeper gives you cryptic warnings and looks at you with kindness and pity.

Besides these two, there are several others that will help you on your journey. A researcher, trying to understand the ocean. An old mayor, with dire warnings. A friendly drifter who runs her own shipyard and fish seller off of her own boat, a cultist looking for sacred flame. For each artifact you go searching for, you find new characters to speak with an help. You spend your time fishing, selling the fish, completing quests, and learning through mysterious letters in a bottle and scraps of paper of a story that might well be your own. 

This game has two potential endings. No spoilers, but I definitely made sure I could see both. Upgrading the ship and selling fish never gets tedious, nor does exploring beyond where your main quests take you. I had a LOT of fun playing this game, and the overall sense of dread that you get while playing lingers. 

I highly suggest you check out this game if you like cosmic horror, or if you enjoy cozy game mechanics like upgrading your ship and fishing. 

Check out the official website here: Dredge