The original A Fisherman’s Tale was a delight when it released back in 2019, and still one of my favourite games on the original PlayStation VR. Cue my excitement when InnerspaceVR announced that a sequel was on the way with Another Fisherman’s Tale – as well as my slight hesitation at the fact that this new entry would be swapping out the recursive puzzles of the first game with a completely new mechanic.
Turns out any hesitation was completely unfounded on my part, as Another Fisherman’s Tale has proven to be every bit as creative and enjoyable with its puzzles as last time, and although they’re a little less mind-bending they still play with perspective in a uniquely satisfying way.
Let’s start at the start though – Another Fisherman’s Tale puts us back in the shoes of Bob, the fisherman/wooden puppet who we last saw wrestling with a mysterious and never-ending model lighthouse. Told from the dual perspectives of Bob and his daughter, Nina, it’s a chronicling of his past adventures, wrestling with pirates, treasures and mythical creatures. Each adventure is represented by an intricate model, with players controlling Nina inbetween stories as she pieces together her father’s history to discover more about him. It’s a thoughtful setup to the fantastical escapades of each chapter that brings a lot to the table to ground Bob’s character and wraps up nicely by the end.
Of course, as well-realised as the narrative is this is a puzzle game first and foremost, and Another Fisherman’s Tale’s unique mechanic this time around is Bob’s ability to remove his head, hands and legs at will from his wooden-doll body. This gives players a completely new way to engage with puzzles by literally being able to separate themselves from the situation at hand and get a new perspective by lobbing their head to a better vantage point, or popping off a hand and walking it through small crevices and tunnels to grab items or pull levers. You’ll also often have the opportunity to replace either of your hands with other tools like crab claws, hookshots and robot hands to add even more layers to puzzles.
These might be simple enough ideas on their own, but combined with the immersion of virtual reality it sells the concept of perspective even further. When your head’s on a perch in the corner of a room and you’re free to look around as you independently control your body, or when you have to follow your disembodied hand and peer into tight spaces to ensure you’re not going to send it into a hazard, it’s hard not to truly feel like parts of you have genuinely been relocated. Most VR games try their hardest to make it seem like you’re in another body – Another Fisherman’s Tale makes it seem like your body is in another place entirely.
Like the first game, the only real gripe I have here is the relative brevity of the experience. Coming in at under 2 hours I was happy that this is the kind of VR experience I can comfortably complete in one session without feeling the need for a break, but as a puzzle game there’s only so far things can be taken in that timeframe. I would’ve loved for the puzzle designs to escalate even further as there are some truly ingenious concepts at play here (I won’t spoil a single one because of how short the game is), but nothing that becomes overly taxing on the ol’ grey matter.
Playing on the PlayStation VR2, the game continues the solid aesthetic of its predecessor, but on a larger scale and with a nice amount of added flair, plus the obvious increased sharpness neat features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers when played on the PS VR2. The first time I threw my own head across the room and felt the thump from the PS VR2 headset’s haptics in my own head was a pleasant shock.
If you’re a fan of inventive puzzle games attached to endearing and emotionally-driven narratives, and you’re lucky enough to have the hardware required to play it, I can wholeheartedly recommend Another Fisherman’s Tale as a great way to spend a couple of hours on a lazy weekend. I truly hope the folks at InnerspaceVR can expand even further with the next title, making it bigger and more challenging, but there’s no denying the smile on my face the entire time I was playing this one.