The tycoon genre has had many different themes over the years, like Theme Parks and Zoos. Megaquarium takes those elements and gives you control over an Aquarium. If you’re in the market for a fresh fish in the genre, Megaquarium makes for a great catch.
Megaquarium gives you two choices when it comes to playing the game; campaign and sandbox. From there you’ll have four difficulties, ranging from easy to brutal. As with any tycoon game, things start simple enough with basic tanks and the need for only a simple filter & heater. You’ll be able to fully customize your aquarium by designing the layout & placement of all the tanks and maintenance equipment; along with all your guest related needs. I will say that one of the nice things the game allows is letting you mix fish species in a single tank. This also means you must pay attention to the environment the fish are in. Some fish require certain types of decoration and some absolutely hate being in the tank with others, so maintaining a balanced ecosystem is key. Early on, the fish have no strict requirements so it’s smooth sailing and each tank’s ecosystem is easy to maintain. But these fish will grow and may change thier requirements, so you have to beware of any new temperaments of your fish. The ecosystem of each tank may require rebalancing the heat, plant, and fish composition if that’s the case. It’s nice to see there’s this level of depth to the curation of the fish, as most games would have just gotten away with you picking a fish to display and that it’s. You’ll still want to focus on the best species to bring in more crowds, so it does make for some nice management.
Once you open your doors, the patrons will arrive and with more people, come higher prestige points as they enjoy your aquarium. The more fish you are able to display, the more the points will go up. Have a dirty aquarium and you’ll find that you may lose out on points. The reason for the points is to unlock new creatures and tank features; new species and new equipment. Things like filters and heaters, or new decorations that could enhance a tank’s appearance. You’ll get to a point where you’ll even be able to hide the maintenance machinery and have even more control over the layout of your aquarium. Over time your patrons will want more accommodations; like seating, food, merchandise, and other bells & whistles.|
Getting the content of your Aquarium is important but you’ll also want to begin hiring employees to help feed your fish and maintain the place. You’ll have to manage the tanks upkeep; things like temperature, cleanliness, and food for the fish need to be monitored. Not keeping your eye on it, or not hiring employees to do it, will result in dead fish. Would you go to an aquarium full of dead fish? I wouldn’t. I did notice that there was no task prioritization for employees. It would have been nice to be able to assign your employees certain tasks so I don’t have starving fish while Billy Bob decides trash is more important to do right this minute. It would be nice to have the option to drill down a list and have them do certain tasks in a prioritized order.
Megaquarium is a fun and enthralling tycoon game. I found there to be a deep amount of depth to each tanks ecosystem and the requirements to bring in more guests. As I mentioned earlier, any other game would have probably just had the player pick a tank of fish and mainly focus on your patron’s happiness. But Megaqquarium brings the micromanagement of an actual fish tank to your computer screen. As the team continues to make improvements, leading to an overall better experience, they’re creating more fun along the way. Fun that doesn’t require you to murder a million fish, but to take care and nurture them.
A Steam code was provided by the publisher for review purposes