Megaquarium is a good game that allows players to micro-manage an aquarium (what a surprise, the title kind of gives this away). Megaquarium micro-managing system also does not have microtransactions which allows the pacing of the game to stay consistent (I’m looking at you Pokémon Quest). So, what does Megaquarium do right and, where does the game fall a little short?
Overall pacing throughout the game is very solid.
The game starts you off with a very helpful tutorial. This tutorial allows players to create the stairway to becoming an aquarium master. You learn how to adjust and place tanks, what filters and heaters should be used to maintain certain water pressure and temperature pressure, what essential functions (like how to expand your floor) are needed to keep your aquarium fully functioning and oiled up, and finally, what do those picky ass fish need to survive.
Yes, the fish are a fun chore to deal with.
Some fish have certain eating needs like eating clams instead of green pellets. Fish may eat each other if they’re in the wrong tank together. They can also:
- Require certain tank decorations like driftwood, kelp, and sea lettuce
- Require certain water and heat quality to survive
- And can provide certain ecology and science points
What can we say, these fish are lit (literally you can put a light on their cage to make them lit). With several accommodations needed to be made for fish, this requires the player to carefully plan tank sizes, constantly monitor tanks to make sure that the fish are surviving, and carefully build the store to make sure there is enough space to house a multitude of fishy friends. The game allows players to unlock different species of fish or helpful equipment by getting a certain amount ecology and science points. Simply just keeping the aquarium open and having visitors constantly visit get cash, ecology, and science points.
So, who exactly is running the aquarium and allowing the fish to survive?
The workers that the player must hire plays a huge factor in how the aquarium functions. The workers must:
- Feed the fish a very specific food (Example: the orange pellet)
- Fixing the machines
- Cleaning the aquarium
These important tasks can be easily done depending on the number of workers hired and, the placement and convenience of important things. The feeding containers, tool desk, and cleaning stations should be placed in large numbers throughout the aquarium. This allows workers to have everything at the tip of their fishy fins. Additionally, floor management is important, because, narrow halls can make it hard for workers to travel through.
Don’t forget to manage walls.
Wall management is extremely helpful and important in Megaquarium. Being able to block off generators from visitors is extremely helpful (this also makes your aquarium look less ugly and helps keep your prestige act up). Players also could create a separate room for workers that is just filled with supplies. This allows workers to move around faster as well and stay out of the crowd of visitors. Speed and efficiency keep the aquarium going.
Also, you can figure out the importance of minor things, like the wall, by starting off with the campaign.
The campaign gives you a helpful tutorial in the beginning, as previously mentioned. To progress players must complete a certain goal and, some goals are tutorials. After completing all the goals and earning a certain prestige, players are then given the option to move forward and towards a different aquarium. Each scenario at each aquarium is different, however, players continue to slowly learn new important tricks that get sprinkled in your journey to be the aquarium master.
Oh, and there is Sandbox mode.
Sandbox mode is straightforward. You can start with a certain rank and have certain fish available from the start. However, I would recommend playing through some of the campaign first before playing around with the sandbox, simply because, getting familiar with the multiple commands and controls is important.
This game requires you to pay attention to a few details.
Based off what has been said so far, this game requires players to pay attention to details. With the constant construction and, constant micro-managing, the player always feels busy. This state of being constantly busy makes Megaquarium feel consistent. The pacing is perfect and there are no curve balls thrown. The objective is the same and the player is simply just completing goals and trying to progress towards the next aquarium. Also, the fact that a silly charge meter or silly microtransaction system is not involved is greatly appreciated. The game reminds me of Pokémon Quest in a few ways. Both games were micro-managing-based games, however, Pokémon Quest had a charge meter involved which ruined the pacing of the game for me personally and really slowed the game down.
So, what are the drawbacks of Megaquarium?
These really aren’t drawbacks as minor complaints I have. Once you start to look under the surface of the game you start to realize that the game lacks in complexity. The objectives vary, however, the end goal is still the same and that’s to progress and move on towards the next aquarium. Outside of the micro-managing, that can get a little tedious at points, and basic objectives, there’s not a whole lot going on. Sure, the micro-managing can be fun, and the game does not have major flaws, nonetheless, the standard retail price for Megaquarium is ~$30 US dollars. I personally feel like that $30 for this game might be a little too much. Thirty bucks can also get you a ton of great games on the steam library especially because sales are constantly happening on the steam store. Nevertheless, Megaquarium will probably be on sale (as we currently are speaking the game is on sale for ~$22 on 9/14/18). Also, just thought I would mention, the game has crashed twice, and I had to hard reboot my computer once. Hopefully, this issue can be addressed in future patches.
Megaquarium is a good building simulator that focuses around micro-managing that also has a sandbox mode and, campaign mode. The sandbox mode can be fun once you get used to the controls. The campaign is goal driven. After completing a certain number of goals players can progress further into the stage until they unlock the next stage/aquarium. These goals tend to be very simple and can also come in the shape of a tutorial. This good simple core within Megaquarium, however, does lack a little in complexity. The lack of complexity does not hurt Megaquarium, however, additional features down the road would probably be welcomed and could add to the complexity. Finally, while Megaquarium is a good game that steers away from micro-transactions; I do think that $30 is a little bit overpriced. If you want to pick up this good sandbox game then it might be better to wait until the game goes on sale (as previously mentioned the game is currently ~$22 on 9/14/18).
- THE GOOD
- Incredibly Simple Gameplay
- Constant ‘busy’ atmosphere
- Fantastic Pacing
- Technical enough to feel challenging
- THE BAD
- Rough Edges when you look deeper into the game
Megaquarium is a good building simulator that focuses around micro-managing that also has a sandbox mode and, campaign mode. The sandbox mode can be fun once you get used to the controls. The campaign is goal driven