Jack Charlton's Match Fishing
Copyright/Publisher: Alligata, Release Year: 1985,
Genre: Water Sports, Number Of Players: 1 to 8
This is unconventional game is the computer version of the very popular fishing board
game in which the player competes against other human players rather than the computer.
The program simulates a day out match fishing beside a very attractive lake (the
scene was designed by loading screen designer, David Thorpe). The game caters for up to
eight anglers all of whom must enter their names at the start.
The contest may last for anything between 1 and 90 minutes, the desired length being
entered at the start. Once under way each player is allocated a 'peg number' around the
lake's edge and is given detailed descriptions of the conditions of the bank and
For example, the player might be told: the section has two large trees adjacent to the
peg and the water, which is only between seven and twenty feet deep and has a lot of
leaves and twigs on the surface. To a non-angler this might suggest the use of a luminous
hook and a torch but whatever tackle you decide on you must choose the most appropriate
from the tackle section.
A choice of rods, floats, reels, lines, baits and hooks is offered. At this stage you
must specify the type of cast - strong, medium or weak. When all of the players have
selected what they assume to be the most appropriate tackle the game moves onto actual
A page of instructions explains that all of the contestants must gather round the computer.
They will bo shown a picture of the lake with the eight pegs around it. When a player's
peg flashes it means that a fish has taken the bait and the player who's peg it is must
dash to the computer and press the appropriate number to strike. At any stage during the
wait you can ask to see your peg description and change tackle of required.
At the conclustion of the selected period of fishing the results are displayed. Each
player's catch is displayed in an order dependent on the total weight of fish caught. After
which it's down to the local boozer for a few points and the traditionally furious
arguments about the ones that got away.
Angling isn't, I know, everyone's cup of tea, and yet it is the most successfully
enjoyed sport in Britain. As a matter of fact, I don't mind the odd hour or two spent
on the bankside of some rivers around here.
Match Fishing is actually quite a successful
implementation of the sport - not an easy one to translate to the computer, and here they
have done it with reasonable elegance.. Quite clearly, this program isn't going to have
the wide appeal of say a Dropzone, but if you are keen on fishing, then this should
fit the bill nicely, and it especially comes into its own with several players competing.
The version I saw allowed rather easy access to the BASIC program, and error trapping
could have been better, but Alligata say there have been considerable improvements on
that score since.
While I am interested in fishing I do not consider myself an expert
but ther game certainly seemed to pose the sort of problems that any match fisherman would
have to face. Interesting for anglers.