From iPhone to iPad: Revisiting Flick Fishing

How do old favorites hold up on the iPad? In our "From iPhone to iPad" series, TUAW revisits iPhone applications that have transitioned to the iPad. We look at their latest incarnation and see how the new measures up to the old. Today, TUAW looks at Flick Fishing.

I've been a big fan of this application for some time now so I was eager to give it a try on the iPad. Flick Fishing is a fishing simulator. You cast out a line, you wait for a fish, you reel in your catch, and then repeat. The trick lies in managing your line tension, choosing the right distance to cast your hook, and nursing your fish along -- as you hope the latest catch is a record breaker. It's an addictive game that worked beautifully on the iPhone.

To move to the iPad, the game needed to make some compromises. For one thing, the notion of "flicking" the reel had to go. While the iPhone easily fits in your hand, the iPad does not. Instead of casting your line by moving the device, you now use a "Cast" button. The reel control, formerly placed right next to the rod, appears well across the screen. The physical iPad realities drove those design changes and the game suffers, however slightly, as a result. You can imagine the iPhone as a hand-held fishing pole; you cannot do the same with the iPad.

So what's improved? Keep reading.

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The graphics did, and quite obviously. All the art has been upsized to the iPad's more generous screen space and the game looks gorgeous as a result. There's a new aquarium mode for landscape use. You can place the iPad on a nearby stand with the application running to create a lovely and decorative art piece. While in Aquarium mode, choose to display the just freshwater fish you've caught, just the saltwater fish or all of them at once (my favorite option).

Does Flick Fishing HD deserve to be a separate iTunes purchase from its original, low-definition brother? I'm going to say no -- although the US$2.99 price point remains very affordable (The original costs $0.99). The gameplay of both versions is essentially identical, and the new features introduced in HD are items that you'd expect in a dot release, not a full version upgrade.

Flick Fishing is an app that really should have been released as a universal binary upgrade. Apple's submission policies before the iPad App Store launch, however, prevented that. So it's understandable that Freeverse/NGmoco went with the separate application approach. The higher price point seems to be iPad standard, as well.

Should you run out and buy Flick Fishing HD for your new iPad? If you're already a Flick Fishing fan or think you might want to try the application out, you'll find the same great game as before. It runs well on the iPad and remains one of my favorites. So yes. Despite the fact that Flick Fishing HD is a new and separate application (it shouldn't have been), I do recommend it for purchase. If you think of it as an upgrade rather than a repeat buy, it may help.