Releasing alongside The Hunt, Bass Pro Shops: The Strike – Championship Edition is another Nintendo Switch game that takes you to outdoor surroundings with an (optional) plastic peripheral. The fishing rod here doesn’t really add anything gameplay-wise, but I do find it somewhat immersive. Also, unlike the former game’s gun, the rod is small enough to feel less cumbersome. So, in the battle of admittedly gimmicky plastic, The Strike comes out on top, even if the actual game isn’t as good.

Realism is once again the main focus. This game is quite tough. There’s a good chance that my challenges stem from my real life fishing experience (or I should say lack thereof). I didn’t find the tutorial as helpful here as it could’ve been, nor the controls as intuitive. But once things finally started clicking I began to reel in various fish with some satisfaction.

I don’t really have a go-to rod, reel, or lure, so I find myself experimenting with different combinations. Wrestling with a fish can take a couple minutes, and it definitely takes practice to achieve balance so your line doesn’t break. I’ve been spoiled by fishing in Animal Crossing, but no such speed is on offer here. Again, the sights are firmly on authenticity.

This approach means you’ll spend a good chunk of your time looking underwater. This takes its toll on a game that already has the looks of an older port. The water is dark, and often you’ll be drawn to the side meter to see how much progress you’re making in reeling in a fish. Tangled lines are also a possibility. Things do look nicer when you’re on your boat along the surface, and there is quite a bit more music here for some aesthetic punch.

One thing I’m really not keen on is the time limit when you’re in a career tournament. While this makes for speedier gameplay, I prefer no restrictions. While you can play that way, it’s outside the tournament setting. For this reason, while I played The Hunt to completion, I haven’t yet finished Bass Pro Shops: The Strike – Championship Edition.

Highlights outside the main game are challenges like boat racing and casting contests. Completing these wins gift cards for the in-game shop. There’s also a trophy room where you can go through an aquarium and see all your catches swimming about. The Strike has the superior trophy room.

Bass Pro Shops: The Strike – Championship Edition lacks the wide appeal of The Hunt in my opinion, but I think avid fisherman could really get into it. As a sport in general, I think fishing attracts broader interest, but the design choices here mean virtual anglers would be best served with real-life experience. This is still a good game, and one to which I’ll probably return at some point. For now, please excuse me while I go enjoy some fish and chips.

Thanks to Planet Entertainment for sending us this package for review coverage.