Megaquarium brings a fresh take to the strategy genre, in that rather than building full towns, armies or the like, we are instead building our very own aquarium. It has a lovely cartoon look to proceedings too, giving it an much more chilled vibe than other entrants into the genre.
Two modes are on offer here consisting of a campaign and a sandbox mode. Megaquarium is a fun little game where we will be bringing different aquarium’s up to scratch to make money and turn the park around. You’ll start with the basics, building tanks and choosing fish to put on display. You’ll also need to decorate, heat, filter and look after these fish tanks, otherwise you’ll struggle to pull in the money needed to get further into the game.
So we start off with the basics; now, the tanks can start out as a simple square tank, but as you level up your game with science and eco-points they and many other items can be learned and unlocked. Tanks will grow in size, able to show off bigger and more impressive creatures.The hardware used to power and keep the water fresh in the tanks will evolve and the fish themselves will become more attractive and draw greater crowds. This however does take time in the campaign, which spans 10 levels. However, when you have finished this you will be able to hit sandbox mode. Here we have a lot of starting choices, to let you make it as easy or as difficult as you wish. You can also replay the campaign missions an change there difficulty.
Placing all the items around the map is super simple and easy. When you go to buy and place an item the floor of your park will turn to squares allowing you to simply see where to place items. Once you have placed your items they can be moved – but, the fish tanks can not be re-sized once in place. This was annoying when I had placed items then realised they’re in the wrong place. Another way around it though was you can build the general base or area you’re in so you can just make small rooms larger and change all sorts out. But remember, at the end of the day you’re there to make money in your park to keep you moving forward.
For a game about an aquarium, you probably won’t be surprised to learn there are many types of fish featured. All are real life species, so don’t go in thinking of taming a Megalodon or anything! We even get turtles and stingrays later into the game also which is cool. These fish will all have their own unique skills and attributes, with some preferring to live in groups and some alone. Also they will grow in size, and as they do so does their appetite… you’ll need to watch they don’t eat your other fish,as I’m sure your guests don’t want to see that.
The game is super colourful and cheery. The main colour theme is a bright blue throughout your park. The AI in the game of both staff and guests is a little basic, though it gets the job done. There’s some light background audio to accompany the on screen action, nothing revolutionary, but it all adds to the atmosphere.
While sim games are hardly rare, Megaquarium has a unique, charming spin on things that make it worth checking out. Some slight UI niggles aside, there’s enough charm and content here to give you a relaxing evening playing with the fishes.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.