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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: January 12, 1997
Leave it to the makers of the best fishing simulation software to venture from the familiar lakes and head down the rivers. Sierra has released Trophy Rivers Fly Fishing to satisfy just about everyone’s craving for fishing. Trophy Rivers brings the player down the river by canoe and boat, and also adds the ability to throw on those waders and take to the water by foot.
Trophy Rivers is a little different than the other fishing titles by Sierra because the water is moving. By using a fly fishing rod, Trophy Rivers offers different challenges and goals than were possible with the previous titles. Just as before, there are many different types of rods, lines, lures, and options that players can choose from while they are fishing.
After getting Trophy Rivers installed and running, you are presented with the main menu screen, which allows you either to play a single-player or multiplayer game, visit Sierra’s Homepage, or watch some how-to videos. If you choose the single-player option, you will have the choice of a fishing trip, tournament, or career. All three choices will get you in the water, but the fishing trip is the quickest way to get fishing. In the tournament mode, you enter into fishing tournaments that take place with certain rules, which can be changed before each tournament. Just like in Trophy Bass 2, you have a certain amount of time to go out and reel in some large fish. Depending on the duration of the tournament you may have a number of days to bring in the largest fish. In the career mode, you enter into a number of tournaments, trying to qualify for the final tournament. Careers have different skill levels and choices of tackle, giving you plenty of challenges and options to keep playing for a long time.
The graphics in Trophy Rivers are very well done. Because the action takes place on moving rivers, there are some noticeable differences between this title and the Trophy Bass games. Depending on your location, you may have to deal with logs, rocks, slow currents, and even fast-moving water. All the realistic effects that are seen while fly-fishing are represented in the game. There are whirlpools and twisting and turning water. Every little movement, and the direction and speed of the current, will have an effect on the way your line and lure move through the water. This is what makes fly-fishing so different and challenging. If you can learn to maneuver your lure around objects and use the water current to your favor, you will have a better chance at catching the larger fish.
There are a number of different fish that can be found swimming in the different rivers that come with Trophy Rivers. The most standard river fish — salmon, trout, and steelhead — are lurking throughout the game. Each of the five locations has many miles of flowing rivers for you to traverse.
Now that you have a river and fish swimming in it, you will need the proper gear to go out and catch some yourself. Trophy Rivers comes with a full compliment of premium lures and flies that can be changed on the “fly” while you are fishing. Depending on what you are going after, different flies and lures will have a different effect. Weather also plays a great role in what you choose to fish with. You can also use different techniques, such as fly-fishing and spinning.
As you embark in the morning on your exhibition, there will be darkness over the river making it more difficult to locate the fish. But as the day moves on, the river will become brighter and easier to see into because of the sunlight. The weather and time of day are all well implemented and realistically portrayed in the game.
You can fish either from your boat (or canoe) or you can get on your feet and take the water head-on. When fishing from the boat, you are sometimes limited to the locations that you can get to easily. This gives you good reason to get into the water and walk over to where you would like to fish. Navigating around the river in Trophy Rivers is very easy. All you have to do is click on a few buttons and you are there.
Sierra boasts that the river and fish possess independent intelligence. The fish will actually try and behave like real fish do in rivers. For example, they will form schools and swim in different currents.
There are a number of different menu items that can be accessed during the game. You can view a map to locate your position or move to another position. There are also menus which allow you to look at all your flies and lures, as well as set up your poles and lines. Trophy Rivers gives the virtual fisherman almost unlimited options when trying to customize the way he would like to fish.
To help you along on your fishing journeys, there are full-motion video tips from expert fisherman. These tips can be pulled up in the game to find out what you need to do to master the river. There are a number of different videos and each one gives good insight into some of the more advanced techniques that come along with fly fishing.
To fish in Trophy Rivers all a player has to do is select a location to cast to and click on a cast button. This makes the learning curve for Trophy Rivers very small. Once players get the hang of reeling in fish, they can use the more advanced way of casting. The advanced way allows you to mimic the casting motion with your mouse by moving it forward and backward. This is the best way to give the game a more realistic feel to it while playing.
For those people who do not like to fish alone, Trophy Rivers includes multiplayer support. This support comes in a couple of different ways. There are your standard connection types, but Trophy Rivers allows you to play with others through the Internet. When playing in a multiplayer game, you can either fish against each other or cooperatively. There is also the ability to chat with the other players so you can discuss the conditions and the best spots to find those winning fish.
Just like its counterparts in Sierra’s line of fishing games, Trophy Rivers does a great job at bringing the intricacies of fly fishing to your desktop. With the recreation of water currents and the wide variety of conditions, it is tough to find a bad fishing day with this title.
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