Luna's Fishing Garden is available on Steam (Windows, Mac & Linux) and Nintendo Switch!

A video game's narrative doesn't always need to be some grandiose, hundred hour long saga about the trials and tribulation of the protagonist dealing with their trauma while simultaneously saving the world from certain destruction... Sometimes it can be about helping an ethereal fox clean up her garden, and that's it.

Luna's Fishing Garden is a little minnow swimming amongst all the big triple A sharks lately but that doesn't mean it's not a catch. Having only taken me maybe 4 hours to beat, this game was the exact thing I needed to relax and destress after a very busy week. A combination of minimal resource management and comparable Stardew Valley-styled fishing mechanics, this title serves as a rewarding experience to put your time into.

You sail laterally in your row boat (which is basically just a large leaf and it's adorable) and select the fishing spot you want to cast into. Each active spot has certain species of fish you can only find there, so progress through the story and completing characters’ quests helps to unlock more spots, and thus more species. Eventually you unlock a Field Journal which keeps track of all the flora and fauna you encounter. The field journal is simplistic in design and function, but still a rewarding and endearing endeavor to populate.

The game prompts you to choose between Challenging and Relaxing Fishing Mode.
Will you take it easy? Or rise to the challenge?

In regards to the fishing itself, you can toggle on and off at any time what the settings call Simple Fishing. Instead of trying to line up a vertical bar with the moving fish in order to reel it in, you just press and hold the button, only to temporarily release it and press again when the fish wiggles. To boot you can adjust the actual fishing speed on a slide scale to make the experience even more challenging or relaxing. These settings alone allow for a customizable experience. I myself kept simple fishing on but increased the fishing speed slider a bit, to allow a simple, but not exactly boring, time overall.

As you begin to fish, this kickstarts your cycle of currency accumulation. In the simplest sense, you sell your fish for Leaves (literal leaves yes) to which you can begin to purchase various plants. Every plant purchase idley generates a certain amount of leaves per X number of seconds, allowing time to be your investor. You get a visual prompt once the plant is ready to harvest, which you have to do yourself in the beginning. Later purchases and upgrades do include ways to automate your harvesting!

There are some mechanics beyond these two, but these are what will keep you moving throughout the adorable narrative. Meeting new characters and completing their lists of tasks to help rebuild the garden provides you with upgrades for your leaf boat and fishing rod and acts as the various stepping stones to completion.

Meet Jellybean! He's my favorite.

Now it's important to note that this isn't a deep experience; the narrative as a whole is just about a girl simply lending a helping hand to those around her and trying to find her way home. The gameplay itself isn't very egregious and complex; I got to a point where money was no obstacle really, but that's ok. That's part of the charm and delight of this game. It's simple and straightforward, without taking away from how precious and rewarding it is. Seeing the islands come to life as you continue to check off your list of tasks gave me such a fulfilling feeling. The space begins to feel like your own as you decorate it with the various plants and trees needed to grow your wealth.

Luna's Fishing Garden is a truly special little gem that can lure in almost anyone, be it someone who plays games or not. Trust me when I say you should cast your line out and play this game; by the end, I promise it'll be your Catch of the Day.

That's it! Do you like fishing in video games? Which one is your favorite? Will you give Luna's Fishing Garden a shot? Let me know over on Twitter at @atlaspolara!