For most people, fishing is a relaxing pastime that offers an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and a few moments of peaceful reflection. For everyone else, there’s “Grenade Fishing Jr.,” a playfully explosive new game from a Honolulu developer.
Available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), “Grenade Fishing” is the creation of Jacob Pollock of Jolly Pumpkins Productions. Pollack’s day job is as a materials engineer at local research and development firm Oceanit.
“Grenade Fishing” lets anyone go “blast fishing,” the environmentally disastrous but virtually amusing practice of replacing poles, hooks and lines with explosives. The game takes specific advantage of accelerometers, allowing players to control the action by tilting and turning their devices.
Abe the bear (replacing Aloha Cat from the first incarnation) is the star of the show. Players first aim his grenade into the water, then after the blast, rock Abe’s boat back and forth so he can catch the falling fish in his mouth. Notes the game’s initial announcement:
It is a skill-based “quick-fix” action title with 18 levels and a “hand-drawn” feel. The fun of the game comes from the thrill of blowing things up and the challenge of the engaging live-action gameplay. It features realistic physics simulation, water dynamics, and fish behavior and has a unique “tilt-to-zoom” feature. Things get pretty interesting when the waves get big and the fish get smart.
Just released last week, the $0.99 game hit the top of the charts in the iTunes App Store for in the paid sports game category, and ranked in the Top 20 of all iOS games tracked by TouchArcade.
Pollock was born in San Francisco, grew up in West Virginia, and graduated with a PhD in bioengineering from UC Berkeley. After a brief stint at a West Coast medical hardware firm, he came to Honolulu over a year ago to work at Oceanit.
While he says he enjoys mobile app development, it’s definitely not the top line on his resume.
“I consider myself an inventor, mainly in materials science, and I have multiple peer-reviewed academic publications, book chapters, and issued patents,” he notes. “I do programming in my free time.”
Even so, Pollack says he’s been making game since he was eight years old, programming adventure games in BASIC on a Commodore 64 computer.
“This was before I picked up an ATARI-2600 game console at a garage sale for $20,” he adds.
With an eye toward computer animation and physics simulations, Pollack said the he dreamed up “Grenade Fishing” a decade ago. Back then, Flash was a popular platform for game development, but it wasn’t ideal.
“I finally picked it up again last year after I got an iPad and realized that I could actually write apps for it,” he says.
With “Grenade Fishing” released to the world, Pollack says he wants to do even more in mobile app development.
“I would like to build a small team here in Hawaii to operate a game house that produces high-quality indie titles,” he says.