Go Fish! - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL      

Go Fish! is an original game loosely based on the Intellivision game Shark! Shark! - you are a wee fish and, to survive, you must eat other, smaller fish to grow. But watch out for the shark, as he's also on the hunt for food and you could be his next meal! Go Fish! features extensive, continuously-playing music (with an option to turn it off for those who'd rather do their fishing in quiet), as well as a two-player battle mode.

Programmer Bob Montgomery teamed up with AtariAge to sponsor a contest to create original artwork for Go Fish! The winning label from Renato Brito will grace all copies of Go Fish!, as well as the full-color manual. You can download the latest version of Go Fish! and follow its development in our Homebrew Discussion Forum.

Includes cartridge with Renato Brito's label and a full-color manual designed by Tony Morse. Available in NTSC and PAL formats (please specify above when ordering).

AtariVox Enhanced

Go Fish! was one of the first homebrew games to support Richard Hutchinson's AtariVox. Go Fish! takes advantage of the AtariVox to save your high score, which is retained when you turn your Atari 2600 off. When you come back later to play Go Fish! and power on your 2600, your previous high score will be restored!

Author Bob Montgomery
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick Controller
Cartridge Size 8K
Label Design Renato Brito
Manual Design Tony Morse
Tony Morse on 11/27/2023 03:19pm
As a big fan of Shark! Shark!, I was extremely happy to see this spiritual successor make its way to the 2600. In many ways it reminds me of a maze-less Pac-Man, where you can roam freely yet warily, always attentive to what can eat you and what can be eaten.

The distribution of fish sizes allows you to play it safe or go for increasingly larger prey - at an accordingly greater risk. And growing your fish to take down those who were previously your tormentors is extremely satisfying. A personal favorite.
Bryan M Knotts on 11/20/2022 10:09am
This is an excellent homebrew based on the IntelliVision original library game Shark! Shark! By Bob Montgomery! Tommy Montgomery's music, and sound effects are nicely done. Congratulations to Renato Brito for having submitted the winning manual, and cartridge label design. Perhaps sharks aren't quite the prominent central enemy characters they were in Shark! Shark!, and some of the other enemy characters have been changed, but it's still a great homebrew. Also being one of the first homebrews to utilize AtariVox support is notable. For any who maybe interested my YouTube channel's review video on this homebrew maybe found here: https://youtu.be/fnFH_TAc72M
Roger Wolf on 11/24/2016 04:20pm
A very fun and solid 2-player game. Its appeal won't last that long in single-player mode. Definitely a game, that should be played with friends.
Jordan Fanning on 05/24/2013 07:00am
Well there really isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said and I absolutely agree with everyone elses reviews.

This is a great little game, begins slow paced and is pleasantly relaxing to just float around in the ocean, eating other fish. There is so much animation going on, on screen... the waves move, the fish swim fluttering their tails and the seaweed flows with a rhythem to the ocean.

There isn't a pause, but you can take a break or refuge on the sea floor behind the seaweed only sticking your head out for food while keeping an eye out for danger.

I personally love this little game and it's a real gem to add to your collection. The manual couldn't have been any better. Not only does it have a great layout, but it explains the game very well with beautiful illustrations and color.
The dark blue label sticking out of my Atari game port looks very pleasing.

Highly recommend.
Tony Scott on 04/16/2013 09:34am
I just got this game in the mail and am already totally addicted! The graphics, the sound and gameplay are all a joy to behold. The presentation with the full color manual is beautiful. Anyway, I can't write anymore...I have a high score to crack!
Colin Hodder on 10/21/2007 03:49pm
I got this game with the Atarivox bundle last Christmas, and, after playing it once to see how the Atarivox support was, I threw it into a drawer full of games until a few days ago. I wish I could have the time back that I wasted this gem in a drawer. This game is incredible. I could barely turn it off to write this review. The music ranks up there with Pressure Cooker and Pitfall 2 in the 2600 music department, and the graphics are very clean (the title screen is particularly good). It also has much better pacing and a better difficulty ramping than Shark! Shark! on the Intellivision. I'd recommend this to anyone.
Nathan Strum on 08/23/2007 04:44am
In Go Fish!, it's eat or be eaten. You play a tiny yet hungry little fish, and must eat other fish to survive. But you can only eat fish your size or smaller. Try to eat something bigger than you, and you'll end up as its dinner. If the bigger fish weren't enough, you must also be on the lookout for jellyfish, electric eels and sharks. Can you survive long enough to become the biggest fish in a little pond? Or will you end up as just so much fish food?

Go Fish! is an unusual game for the 2600. It's a game of patience rather than aggression. Being aggressive will usually just put you in harm's way. And while there are times when you have to respond quickly to get to safety, your fish isn't exactly fast, and the bigger it gets, the harder it is to maneuver. Go Fish! nicely mimics the sensation of being underwater, although sometimes this makes the controls seem a bit sluggish. Also, there are times when it seems to take forever for edible fish to appear, and for your fish to grow up. Fortunately, there is no penalty for not eating other fish, so you can often just lie in wait until dinner shows up. The downside of this, is that the game doesn't give you much incentive to chase down other fish. The pacing of the game picks up when starting on the harder difficulty setting, since your fish doesn't spend so much time being small.

The graphics are well done, although some of the fish are hard to tell apart. There are a lot of nice little touches though, like the smaller fish swimming away from you in fear, or electric eels lighting up as they swim by, or the seaweed gently swaying in the current. The sound and music are very good (and you can shut off the music, if you don't care for it), and there is high-score support for the AtariVox, too. Go Fish! is a well-done game, and an enjoyable one. It's just a different pace from a lot of 2600 games, and takes some getting used to. I recommend picking it up, especially if you're looking for a game without a frenetic pace, but one that can still challenge you in its higher levels.
Brian Rittmeyer on 10/17/2006 03:20pm
Fish are food, not friends... that's the major lesson in "Go Fish."

In this game, you start out as a small fish, and to survive and get bigger, you must eat, but only other fish the same size or smaller than you. You start as the smallest of fish, and find yourself growing as you reach certain point intervals.

You'll bump up a size or two fairly quickly, but you'll get to a stage early where there doesn't seem to be much to eat, and many larger fish out to get you. But not to worry, you'll get bigger soon enough, and when you do, that's when the points really start to rack up!

As you get bigger, you'll notice that your former "chums" are avoiding you, because they're afraid of you turning them into chum! Once you reach a certain size, certain smaller fish will flee upon seeing you. If you really want their points, sneak up from behind, above or below.

Besides needing to watch out for bigger fish, you also need to avoid deadly predators such as jellyfish and electric eels. The eels are particularly sneaky - if you cross their path behind them, they'll turn around, so it's best not to cross their path too closely or when they're about to go off screen, for it will keep them around longer.

It's also best not to linger around the sides of the screen, so be careful in pursuing prey to the edge - you never know what may emerge!

Some of the fish designs look better than others, with some of the very large fish honestly looking a little silly. Also, some fish can be hard to see at times, which can be a problem if you're avoiding them or hunting them, but your console and TV settings could come into play.

The game has good control, with a bit of realistic underwater buoyancy built in. Seems your fish move fastest in a diagonal direction. Good music, too, from the beautiful opening screen to into the game itself that really fits. Also a very well done label and manual.

This game comes well recommended. Definitely something different for the 2600.
Aarne Jernstrom on 05/31/2006 11:29am
I own "Shark! Shark!" on the INTV and love it, but the controllers and overheating system make me not want to bother. Go Fish! is an excellent adaption/interpretation of this game. Graphics, sound and gameplay are all great. The level of challenge starts very slowly, too slowly for some players, so the difficulty switch can put you halfway in. I think it's a little too easy at first, but once you're up to about 3000 points it's quite hard. It has a zenlike, tranquil quality which lulls you into rest just before you die, which causes great frustration and sudden wakefullness. It's definitely my favorite homebrew for the 2600.
Matthew Thomas on 05/25/2006 05:33pm
This may be one of the best 2600 titles I've ever played. The initial reason that I purchased this game is because of my love for Shark, Shark!!! on Intellivision. I loved the game on Intellivision and was amazed that it was never ported over to 2600. So here was my chance to play a game close to it, and boy was I surprised at what I found.
The game starts with you as a very small fish (your starting size depends on which difficulty you play. Throughout the levels, while dodging squid, sharks, and dangerous and direction changing electric eels, you must eat fish of smaller or same size. every once and a while, your fish increases size making the game more intense by the level.
I'd really like to make mention of the music in this game, three distinct in-game tracks that are amazing, perhaps the best I've heard on a 2600.
Gameplay is unmatched, the game mimics the sensation of floating, which weighs more and more on you as your fish grows. There's three bushes you can "hide" in at the bottom of the screen to avoid getting eaten, or if you need to just get up and make a sandwich.
If I had to find a fault in this game (which was really difficult) it's the replay value. Now stick with me on this one, I'm not saying you'll play it once and put it away forever, what I'm saying is that when you get a game over in some titles, you want to hit reset and take another shot at it, like a personal challenge almost. With Go Fish, you only have one life, so if you so much as brush against a larger fish or predator, you're dead, muerte, finis. At this point you'll storm away from your Atari and slam the door behind you, only because it has taken you so long to get to this point. In order to curb this minor problem, I suggest playing the game on difficulty B, you start out a little larger and in the second level. This will get you past the "tedious" initial game play and into some real excitement.
This game is also compatible with the AtariVox, so you can save your high score for next time. My best score in this game was 3950.
Games don't get much better than this, I highly suggest this title for anyone. In fact, as soon as I'm done this review, I think I'll fire up a game.

Philip Dangler on 01/04/2006 02:58pm
I am totally addicted to this game. The most impressive thing is the "floating" physics. Your little fishy has momentum in the water. The plants on the bottom of the sea sway to and fro. It's very Zen, and the feel is helped along by the music--which is excellent for a 2600 game. The gameplay is simple, yet superb. I like this game as much as Seaquest, but it's not nearly as violent. Last night I ate fishsticks while playing it. My girlfriend thinks it is "cute."
Raul Torres on 01/03/2006 09:49am
Great game... sort of feels like Activisions SeaQuest, but it does have a better under water floating feel.

Graphics are pretty good, but some of the bigger fish look kind of weird... I am not a programer, so perhaps the limits of the 2600 show themselves more on this game than others... It still does not take away from the fun factor... IMO the most important trait well developed 2600 games like Go-Fish continue to show off...
Stan Dean on 12/31/2005 07:00pm
Having followed the development of this game, I watched it grow from a small guppy of an idea to a whale of a game. Overall, the game is quite good, but for some it may be an acquired taste. If you are a big fan of actual fishing, this game is for you, dead-on, mainly because the early stages of the game are pretty slow and meandering. I have spent some 5 minutes as a small fish waiting for something to float by that I could eat. However, once you get of moderate size, the other aquatic inhabitants pick up the pace and the game gets very hectic.
This is where the game really thrives. At the upper levels, the game is pure twitch. You'll have to be fast and cunning to survive long as a big fish in a little pond.
The graphics are solid and for the most part the sea life is well represented. On my television, some of the colors are hard to distinguish, but this is not a major drawback. The sounds are minimal, but this isn't the kind of game that calls for a lot of SFX. Mercifully, there is an option to turn the game's music off. What may start as a quaint little jaunty tune will quickly become an annoying bee in your ear and you will be reaching for the COLOR/BW switch.
Overall, this game is very, very good and most classic gamers will find it a welcome addition to their collection. There is also a two-player simultaneous mode for head-to-head action!
Ethan Nobles on 06/20/2005 03:28am
I picked this up when it was released at the Oklahoma Video Game Expo on June 18, 2005, and am glad I did. I wasn't too thrilled with it at first, but this game is one of subtle challenge. Honestly, you've got to play it a couple of times to truly appreciate it. The game requires the player to, simply, eat fish that are the same size as his or smaller, grow and avoid enemies. What is impressive about this game is the fine use of physics -- intertia is involved here, thus the fish feels "heavier" and becomes a bit more difficult to control as it grows. That, of course, means swooping down on smaller fish becomes more of a challenge, as does avoiding enemies. Another nice touch is the fact that, as the fish grows, smaller fish will flee as soon as they spot him. The increasing difficulty, see, feels natural rather than forced, and the game is a pure joy. This is an excellent and unique game, and well worth adding to any 2600 collection. "Go Fish!" is well worth the money, and games like this do nothing but extend the life of the 2600.

In short, I rather like it!

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