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  1. Developer: Dantat Studios Genre: Sports, Simulation, Casual Price: $14.99 Steam, $12.99 itch.io, $4.99 Google Play Grab your gear and let's go fishing! River Legends is a casual experience that has you wishing you were really out on the water—eager to reel in a lunker! Right from the get-go, you are introduced to a beautiful animation of clouds rolling left and right out of view to open up the games title screen. It's highly recommended you hit up the tutorial, this way you know what you're getting yourself into. Even though it's not a difficult game by any means, there are a few things you'll want to know before putting your waders on. I received a code for the Android version, so I'm not 100% sure how it differs on a controller, but casting and catching fish is a breeze! For casting, you select where you desire your bait to be thrown, swipe back and forth to allow distance build up, and then finish with a swipe outward toward the water. It took me a try or two to get used to the mechanic, but once you get the hang of it you'll be saying "This is the reel deal!" Catching fish had me thinking about the mechanics that Stardew Valley implement for fishing. Basically, you'll wait for a fish to swim over to your bait, and once you see little ripples you know the fish is biting, which at that point you'll swipe to hook the fish! During the "Fish On" period, you'll reel in the fish whilst keeping an eye on the tension the fish is causing to your line. Changing the pitch and releasing your finger for a split second will relieve some of the tension in case the fish pulls too hard, which they will as I've had my line snap a few times without even realizing what had happened. Adjust the pitch of the rod by positioning your finger(still holding your finger on the screen) either to the top, middle, or bottom sections of the screen. Once you've hooked a fish, finger placement does not interfere with any of the other buttons, which is great if you are a lefty like me! River Legends starts you in a little spot called Forest Pond. Here you'll get your feet wet and start catching fish to gain experience or gold, and you'll have the option to choose either per fish caught. The bigger the fish, the more experience and gold you'll have a chance to receive. Experience is mainly aimed at unlocking different fishing locales, and these different areas mean more species of fish to catch. On the flip side, earning gold will allow you to purchase specific lures and gear to aid you in your fishing adventure. Personally, I thought some of the gear you unlocked didn't make any significant difference to gameplay. For one, the polarized glasses didn't seem to make any difference in seeing what type of species or how big a fish was. Secondly, the winter coat didn't have any affect on where I would travel to either. Maybe it's just that I bought the coat early on, and never had any issues going to frigid locations because I had the gear necessary to go there. This isn't to say that all the gear was useless. Lures are a huge benefit in order to catch more and bigger fish. The boots give you the ability to travel across the water, but only in certain areas of the locale. Flashlight opens up a level of exploration as there are some caves in which hold secrets and lore. Those are just a few of the things you can buy and use, but I think it's always nice to have something to work toward regardless of how short the game may be. Traveling from spot to spot, wildlife would spring out of nowhere and was a nice little touch to the games aesthetic. Despite being a pixel art game, the developer did a great job at making the game feel as alive as if you were really outside fishing. Not to mention, there were weather patterns from rain to snow in certain areas, which again added to the appeal of the game. Meticulous detail in any game is always a plus in my book! Overall, I thought River Legends was a unique and charming experience. It's one of those games I can come back to time and time again if I'm wanting something casual to play after a longs days work. However, I can't justify if the game is worth the $15 price tag on Steam, as the game was very short and only had a few things to really work toward. To be fair, I'm unsure if there is any actual difference between the mobile version and the Steam version, so I don't want to prevent you from trying it out on PC if there happens to be additional content in which to enjoy! So, if you love the outdoors in the form of pixel art, definitely give this one a go. River Legends was given to us as a press code for reviewing purposes and we want to thank Dantat Studios for allowing us the opportunity to play and review it.
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