Get instantly hooked on this free fishing puzzle browser game

Fishing puzzle game
(Image credit: RhythmLynx)

I have a great idea! Let's kick off the weekend by getting hooked on Curious Fishing. It's free, it's fun, it's filled with fresh fish, and it runs right in your browser. Play a few levels and I guarantee you won't want to stop until you've solved them all.

This isn't a traditional fishing minigame. Curious Fishing, created by developer RhythmLynx (and brought to my attention by Wholesome Games) is a puzzle game. Drop your hook in the water and move it in four directions with WASD, the arrow keys, or by clicking on the simulated controller's d-pad. Your goal is to hook each fish in each of the 30 levels. At first that's easy enough: just steer your hook to each of the four fish in level one, then tap the spacebar to reel them in. But things get more complicated the deeper you go, and each new fish you discover is a little different.

Squid, appropriately, squirt ink when you hook them, which blocks a few squares so you can't pull other creatures through them. If you hook a fish and pull it through the stinging tentacles of a jellyfish you'll wind up with a fish skeleton on your hook—though that might not be a bad thing. Crabs can be dragged through obstructions, letting you clear a path for the rest of the fish you're after. On later levels there's even a turn-based challenge with little green fish that move one square each time you move your hook. Catching them all is gonna take some real thought and planning.

There are some pretty fiendish puzzles, too, and each new level adds a new twist to the mix, like one where several crabs need to be fished out but each time you collect one your fishing line grows shorter, meaning you can make fewer moves. Despite some really complicated levels, Curious Fishing doesn't ever want you to stress. You can undo your moves, reset the level without penalty, and skip any level you're having trouble with so you'll never feel like you're hitting a wall. 

There's even a little aquarium in the main menu that collects all your different catches so you can admire them while taking a break, and you can customize your fisherperson and even adjust the control scheme on the simulated handheld game deck you're playing on. (And if you love it, you can donate to the developer via the link just below the game's window.) Try it out! It'll make your Friday fun and fishy.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.