The One That Got Away

by Leon Lin

Slice of life
1995

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Number of Ratings: 20
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- Zape, May 17, 2021

- Edo, June 14, 2020

- TheAncientOne, June 30, 2019

- Pegbiter (Malmö, Sweden), January 9, 2017

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short fishing game about The Old One, April 21, 2016

In this game with only 4 or so locations, you have a variety of fishing equipment and have to try to catch a giant old fish called the Old One.

You have a variety of options for bait and weights and so on. The actual puzzle, though, is solved by lateral thinking.

It's interesting seeing this and other games from the very first IFComp. It seems like there was more originality and experimentation in the first competition than in the others, where originality was often localized in a few entries.

Somewhat unfair. Recommended for fishing fans.


- Thrax, March 23, 2015

- Sobol (Russia), January 8, 2015

- Artran (Prague, Czech Republic), August 26, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 9, 2013

- hyst3ria, March 23, 2013

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), August 31, 2011

- Walter Sandsquish, February 2, 2011

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Cool, fun little game, September 9, 2010
by Xervosh (San Jose, Northern California)

This is a fun, neat little game that's quite short and fairly easy. It took me half an hour to solve it. Never-the-less, its well worth playing. Heck, I'm actually going to go back to the pier and, through using consciously inferior fishing methods, see if there are any other fish lurking in Lake Highwater. (Spoiler - click to show)In case anyone cares, all there otherwise seems to be in the lake is a scrawny fish, a tire, a rubber boot, and one of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAX There are some nouns it doesn't recognize, and one place where the verb "examine" doesn't really work like it ought(Spoiler - click to show) (You have to just say "take rocks," in order to discover that one rock within the pile is interesting), but otherwise the parser is well-implemented, and the game really doesn't contain any frustrations or other irritants.


- lupusrex (Seattle, WA), October 4, 2009

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Charming and uneven, April 9, 2009
by madducks (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Related reviews: IF Comp 1995

"The One That Got Away" by Leon Lin, third place winner of the TADS division of the first annual IFcomp, is a quirky little game. What seems to start as an extremely naturalistic fishing simulator turns out to contain an exaggerated love story with a large number of unbelievable elements. The game never takes itself too seriously, but a lot of the humorous elements just seemed a little too gonzo for the relatively restrained tone of a fishing game (such as when I fished a VAX out of the lake). The few puzzles present seem mere tokens, as if they are just expected for the medium, and are so obvious they almost do not count. The game does keep a score, but makes no point of announcing acquired points as they are gained and the end just unceremoniously lists the points without giving rank to the accomplishment. I wonder if there just was not enough precedent in 1995 for a puzzleless, slice-of-life story game. It is worth noting that Andrew Plotkin’s “A Change in the Weather” was an entrant in the same year’s competition. The writing is mostly competent, with some mistakes, and some out-right confusing lines, such as:

The only sign of the hand of man [...]
The line starts like a race horse threatened with milk wagon.
This world-famous fishing hole is this state's best kept secret.

But I do not mean to imply that the game is bad. For a subject of which I have absolutely no interest, I found it charming, well-implemented, and an extremely short diversion (replaying with no extraneous moves, I completed the game in 24 turns). Modern players may find it a bit shallow and dated, but I found that “The One” was very playable for its age and recommend at least trying it if you are looking for a short diversion.


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Short and sweet, January 25, 2009

"The one that got away" is one of those small little gems which are often overlooked. It's neither long nor puzzle-heavy, instead emphazising the mood and atmosphere of a fishing trip to get away from it all. It's great on those - it's touching, funny, and even a tad creepy. On the downside, some implementation is awkward (though there is a nice in-game leaftlet which explains all the fishing commands to stupid cityfolk who don't know the next thing about fisihing, e.g. me)maybe in part due to the game's age.
None of it is really a show-stopper, but it breaks atmosphere and reminds you that you're not experiencing a story, but playing a game.
Bottom line: A nice, short diversion. Good story, some minor implementation problem. And ask Bob about everything indeed.


- Mike Ciul (Philadelphia), June 4, 2008

- Emily Short, March 18, 2008

- Hauston (Seattle, WA), October 30, 2007

Baf's Guide


A fish story - can you catch the legendary Big One? A small game that emphasizes the fiction aspect of IF - the puzzles are few and simple, but there's a lot of description and dialogue (kind of like A Mind Forever Voyaging, except funnier and about fish.) Good fishing simulation. Exaggerates wildly. Probably good for beginners. Be sure to ask Bob about everything in the game.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

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