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Dredge is an idyllic fishing sim with a horror game below the surface

Dredge is a cute looking indie fishing game with horror, Lovecraft-esque sea monsters, and a very satisfying looking inventory system

Dredge is an idyllic fishing sim with a horror game below the surface: a fishing boat sails on calm waters towards the sunset

Team17 and New Zealand developers Black Salt Games have released a trailer showing off their new single-player fishing adventure game, Dredge. The peaceful sea-sim is all about a down-on-their-luck fisherman taking back control of their life, and heading out into open waters to find their fortune in the only way they know how – fishing. Things aren’t quite as they seem, however, as the trailer quickly teases some horror game elements, showing the game’s sinister side with the dangers that lurk below the surface.

The core gameplay loop, at least initially, looks to be familiar – head out into the unknown, scrounge up as much loot (fish, in this instance) as you can, and return for profit. The difference here is that the cutesy aesthetic belies the fact that something weird is going on. Shark-infested waters are something that fisherpeople have to contend with on a daily basis, but a Kraken? That wasn’t in the brochure.

The release from Team17 tells of players beginning their adventures in the group of islands called ‘The Marrows,’ and you’ll be tasked with investigating the surrounding area, getting to know the locals, and reeling in as many varieties of fish as you can manage. Your boat can be upgraded to venture further, faster and deeper so eventually, no species that touches the ocean will be off limits.

The press release from Team17 has a not-so-hidden message in the description, reading ‘Don’t look in its eye.’ Disconcerting. Coupled with the complete 180 in tone from glorious sunsets to horrifying angler fish in the announcement trailer, it leaves us wondering if we’ve been missold our peaceful life at sea.

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The sinister fishing game will be available on Steam sometime in 2023, with demos being shown around Gamescom and other events throughout the year. I can wait to set sail and completely ignore the horrors below because I’m a big wuss. For more indie goodness coming your way soon, check out Coral Island and more from Humble Games, all coming to Game Pass! If you don’t yet have a subscription to the games service, Microsoft is currently trialing a PC Game Pass family plan, saving you some money if you party up with others.