Hook, Line and Sinker. Is Cat Goes Fishing Free to Play?

Introduction to Cat Goes Fishing

Cat Goes Fishing is a casual fishing game developed and published by Matt Glanville. Originally released on iOS in May 2015, Cat Goes Fishing has since been ported to Android, PC, and Mac platforms. With its charming pixel art graphics and relaxing gameplay, Cat Goes Fishing has developed a devoted following.

Cat Goes Fishing has been well received, earning praise for its polished gameplay and cute visuals. As of August 2022, the iOS version maintained a 4.7/5 star rating based on over 5,000 user reviews [1]. The PC version on Steam currently has an ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ rating, with 95% of over 3,000 user reviews being positive [2]. Reviewers have highlighted the satisfying progression, extensive customization, and relaxing nature that makes Cat Goes Fishing easy to lose hours playing.

game has great reviews

Gameplay and Mechanics

Cat Goes Fishing is a free-to-play fishing simulation game. The gameplay involves catching fish using your fishing rod and upgrading your gear to catch bigger and more rare fish. As you catch fish, you earn coins that you can use to purchase upgrades like new rods, boats, bait and fishing locations.

The main objective is to catch as many different species of fish as possible and complete your collection. There are over 200 types of fish to catch, with common fish in shallow waters and legendary fish in the deep ocean. The fish range from small fry to giant sharks and whales.

The fishing mechanics are simple but engaging. You cast your line into the water using the mouse or tap on mobile. When you get a bite, you click to hook the fish and then rapidly tap to reel it in. The fish will fight back, dragging your bobber around the screen. You need skill and quick reflexes to tire the fish out.

As you progress, you are able to purchase sonar and radar to detect where the fish are located. This allows you to target the exact spots where rare fish might be lurking. Upgraded rods and reels also make it easier to hook bigger fish. The game steadily becomes more challenging but also more rewarding.

upgrade gear to progress

According to the Steam page, the core gameplay loop involves “Catch fish to earn coins, use coins to upgrade gear, use gear to catch bigger fish, repeat!” This satisfying progression system is key to the addictive nature of Cat Goes Fishing.

Graphics and Visuals

Cat Goes Fishing features charming pixel art graphics with a relaxed, calming aesthetic. The developer opted for a retro pixel art style that evokes a sense of nostalgia. As described on the Cat Goes Fishing Steam page, “The calming gameplay is accompanied by soothing piano melodies and crisp pixel art visuals reminiscent of the 16-bit era” (Steam). Everything from the cat protagonist to the fish and environments are rendered in a cute, minimalist pixel art style. On DeviantArt, one user recreated the cat protagonist in their own pixel art style, praising the nostalgic graphics (DeviantArt). Overall, Cat Goes Fishing stands out for its charming retro pixel art visuals that complement the relaxing gameplay.

Music and Audio

Cat Goes Fishing features soothing, relaxing background music that sets a calm mood perfect for the fishing gameplay. According to the Cat Goes Fishing soundtrack playlist, the music includes gentle piano melodies and peaceful ambient tracks like “Ice Flow” by Kevin MacLeod.

The audio design enhances the fishing experience with realistic water and fishing sounds. You can hear the soothing sounds of water lapping against the shoreline and fish splashing as you cast your line. The auditory feedback from reeling in fish and recasting your line adds to the immersive atmosphere.

Overall, the music and audio work together to create a Zen-like, relaxing environment ideal for patient and thoughtful fishing gameplay.

Reception and Reviews

Cat Goes Fishing has received largely positive reviews since its initial release. On Steam, the game has an “Overwhelmingly Positive” rating from over 2,000 user reviews [1]. Reviewers frequently describe the game as relaxing, addictive, and highly polished.

Rock Paper Shotgun called it “a hugely charming and calming little game” and praised the beautiful visuals and addictive gameplay loop [2]. Many reviews highlight the satisfaction of catching bigger and rarer fish as you progress.

While some critics noted the gameplay is fairly simple, most agreed Cat Goes Fishing excels at creating a peaceful and engaging fishing simulation. The game provides a pleasant escapism that keeps players coming back. Reviewers recommend Cat Goes Fishing for its art style, immersive atmosphere, and ability to relax players.

Developer and History

Cat Goes Fishing was developed by Matt Glanville, an indie game developer. It was first released on PCs in 2017 after about a year in development. According to the Cat Goes Fishing Wiki on Fandom, the original concept for the game can be traced back even further to 2008:

“Daniel Cook created a prototyping challenge of this in 2008, and it was turned into Flash, Unity, and Xbox Indie games before Cat Goes Fishing was released.” (Cat Goes Fishing Wiki – Fandom)

So while Matt Glanville developed the full game released in 2017, the core fishing game mechanics had been conceptualized and prototyped for nearly a decade prior. Cat Goes Fishing represents the culmination of that iterative design process into a polished product for PCs and consoles.

Availability and Versions

Cat Goes Fishing is available on multiple platforms, giving players flexibility in how they want to fish.

The game first launched on PC via Steam in 2015. The Steam version provides access to Steam Achievements, Steam Cloud support, leaderboards, and regular updates from the developer.

Mobile versions for iOS and Android released in 2018. These provide touch screen controls optimized for phones and tablets. Players can take the fishing experience on the go.

In 2019, Cat Goes Fishing launched on the Nintendo Switch. This version includes HD rumble support and Joy-Con motion controls for an immersive experience. The Switch release also added a new Endless Fishing mode not found in other versions.

While core gameplay remains the same, each version offers small tweaks and optimizations tailored to the platform. This flexibility expands the potential player base while giving existing fans new ways to enjoy fishing as a cat.


Cat Goes Fishing is a free-to-play game that utilizes optional in-app purchases. The core gameplay can be fully enjoyed without spending any money, making it not “pay to win.”

free to play, not pay to win

There are three types of currencies in Cat Goes Fishing – coins, gems, and fish bucks. Coins and gems can be earned through normal gameplay like catching fish and completing quests. Fish bucks are the premium currency that must be purchased with real money.

Fish bucks allow players to speed up certain actions like upgrading their rod or buying bonuses and power-ups. However, all of these items can also be obtained for free by playing normally. Patience is rewarded over spending money. As one reviewer said, “This game respects your time and money.”1

The developers have struck a fair balance between monetization and gameplay. Nothing substantial is locked behind fish buck purchases. They offer convenience but are not necessary to progress or compete at the highest levels.

Similar Games

Cat Goes Fishing has drawn comparisons to a number of other relaxing, fishing-themed games. Some similar titles include:

Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2 (https://store.steampowered.com/recommended/morelike/app/343780/) – This realistic fishing simulation game also has players exploring various lakes and unlocking new fish species. It features more advanced graphics and fishing mechanics compared to Cat Goes Fishing.

Fishing Paradiso (https://www.50gameslike.com/games-like/cat-goes-fishing) – Players explore a tropical paradise while fishing in this relaxing, casual game. The visuals are bright and inviting, similar to Cat Goes Fishing.

Ocean Cat (https://www.reddit.com/r/gamingsuggestions/comments/153iumx/looking_for_games_similar_to_this_fishing_game/) – This mobile fishing game also has cute cat themes and simplifed mechanics focused on relaxation over complexity. The pace and gameplay loop are comparable.

While none of these titles are direct clones, fans of Cat Goes Fishing looking for a similar relaxing fishing experience may want to check out these games. They provide a similar core loop of unlocking new areas and fish in a casual, laidback setting.


Cat Goes Fishing is a relaxing and addictive mobile game that takes fishing gameplay to new levels. With its cute cat characters, vibrant pixel art graphics, and mellow soundtrack, it offers a charming experience. The gameplay itself is highly engaging, requiring focus and skill to reel in rare fish across various locations. While the title may seem simple at first glance, there is surprising depth and progression as you upgrade gear, catch new fish, and explore new areas.

For fishing and mobile game fans alike, Cat Goes Fishing is easy to recommend. It offers hours of fun in short gameplay sessions, making it great for killing time or unwinding. The gameplay loop of catching fish to earn coins for upgrades is satisfying and addictive. With no energy system or aggressive monetization, this is a premium mobile experience. If you enjoy casual games and want a new favorite for your phone, Cat Goes Fishing is absolutely worth checking out.

highly recommend game

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