Megaquarium is the type of game that I am really bad at reviewing because instead of reviewing it, I just keep freakin’ playing.
Megaquarium is a game about someone who is in charge of building aquariums for the public I guess. I didn’t even know that was a thing. I mean, obviously, it’s a real job, because somebody’s gotta do it, and… in this game, you’re in charge of doing that. This is kind of weird because I figured you’d have to have a lot of education in a ton of different areas to have a job like this, but, according to video game rules, it’s fairly simple! You build tanks, determine what fish go into what tanks, hire and fire employees, and figure out the best way to even construct the building. In a lot of ways, it’s like roller coaster tycoon or… well, any other Tycoon game, but, the little differences are interesting, like, figuring out which fish can go into tanks together without eating each other.
Graphics and music in this game are interesting, because every fish you add to a tank actually… goes into a tank. Each individual person walking around has to walk up to stuff for you to generate resources. Each of these people seem unique enough that I could tell which of my employees was which, at least. I enjoy the graphics, but, they aren’t cutting edge realism or anything. Each of the characters has an adorable quality that makes you feel great. It’s really got that high-quality fun feeling and smoothness I expect from a high quality title. It doesn’t feel like an indie game. The music is pretty interesting, and I never felt annoyed by any of the sounds.
One of my favorite things about the game is how in depth the management is. There’s tons of employees, and each of them levels up and costs more money. Leveling up allows you to choose skills to improve, and there are things to consider, like, having certain people specialize in feeding vs. having people specialize in repairing are important when you start segmenting your staff. Certain pieces of equipment or certain fish require high skill to manage, so it’s important to specialize. This creates additional challenge that is fun and worthwhile. The game has 3 different resources to build your aquarium, and a fourth to determine when you’ve completed a level, usually. That fourth one is… stars? Influence, I guess. Trying to keep all of these things balanced while maintaining filters and temperature of water can feel overwhelming, but, the game has a pause option to stop time. Once you get set up and get everything under your control, it feels great to expand and try new things.
The game’s pacing is great, and I always felt going to a new level did everything it needed to. I was given new tasks, pushed towards learning new ways to build, and I always remained interested in seeing what would happen next. Major downfalls are… that the difficulty is super high. You’ll spend a lot of time getting enough influence to go to the next aquarium if you aren’t building optimally, which is both a hindrance and a help, because… the next aquarium will require all of the skills you used in the previous one, and more! The game’s 25 bucks, which I think is a fair price. There’s a lot of things to do, and plenty of things to learn, but be wary that it’s addictive. The difficulty is a bit steep for casual players, so remember, if you aren’t up to the task… you’re going to spend a lot of time underwater. Yeet!
Disclosure: We received this game for free!