The brutish “X curio is like Y behemoth” logic of mass entertainment nooze requires me to associate Selkie Harbour’s The Anglerfish Project with Starfield. They do form a pleasant contrast, in fairness. Both are space games but one doesn’t have a fishing mechanic, whereas the other is all fishing mechanic. One is about visiting strange new worlds, establishing outposts and shooting or romancing the heck out of the locals, while the other maroons you on a single asteroid. The Anglerfish Project deserves better than to serve only as a counterpoint for the Bethesda colossus, however – it’s a sweet and tidy stargaze ’em up with a dry sense of humour, and you can download it for free on Itch.io.
I say “maroons” above, but the asteroid in question is a wonderful, calming place – a chunk of cool stone a hundred metres or so in circumference, lit from one side by a gentle sun, with a campchair you can plonk down in for a breather now and then. Certainly, it makes a pleasant reprieve from the planet I’m presently exploring in [UNDER EMBARGO].
Your task here is to literally reel lost radio messages from the heavens by casting a probe skyward with your rod and line. The probe has a name, Paul. In the quite likely event that you accidentally hurl Paul into deep space, you can manufacture yourself a fresh Paul at your basecamp. Yes, there’s a touch of Duncan Jones film Moon to The Anglerfish Project. A dash of Portal, too: there’s an unseen Overseer character who chimes in periodically with increasingly unfriendly advice.
Selkie Harbour is based in Valencia, Spain, and are currently collaborating with Deconstructeam, whose lovely divination game The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood I reviewed only yesterday. Find a video of The Anglerfish Project below, but bear in mind it’s a short game – if you’re intrigued, I’d just download it to avoid spoilers. If you enjoy it, I would also recommend Wish Fishing, created by NUTS developer Pol Clarissou.