(WiiWare)

My Aquarium (WiiWare)

Game Review

My Aquarium Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

If you are too busy to take care of real fish then Hudson’s virtual aquarium might be perfect for you.

Let’s make this clear right from the very start of this review -- My Aquarium is not a game. Unlike Nintendo's deep sea diving title for the Wii, Endless Ocean, there is no adventuring or exploring of any sort. My Aquarium consists solely of watching and feeding fish. It is really an interactive screensaver in a sense.

For those who are too lazy or can’t bear the cost of maintaining a real aquarium, this might be the next best thing for you. You can customise your own aquarium and then put some fish in it, after which you can take care of them every day just like in real life. You get the satisfaction of watching your pets grow as time passes. You can keep up to six tanks, so you don't have to worry about family members messing around with your beloved fishies: just make a new aquarium for them.

Aside from decorations, such as rocks, plants and shells, you can select what the base of the aquarium looks like, the background of the aquarium, how bright or what colour the lighting is, what music plays in the background and obviously what fish will be in the tank. There are 35 songs to select by classical composers such as Bach and Beethoven, which suit the tone of the proceedings perfectly. You have a limited amount of space in your aquarium, however. Each decoration and fish takes up a different amount of space, which you can see on a bar in the top-left of the screen. Obviously, bigger things will take up more space. If you would like to place multiple objects or fish in the water, you’ll need to keep a careful eye on the bar to make sure you have space available. Don’t worry though, you can remove or replace things if you don't like your choice. There is no concept of currency in My Aquarium; everything is free!

There are a total of 40 fish to select from, although initially you'll only be able to pick from about 14 of them. The rest have to be unlocked by checking on your fish every day. If you want more exciting selections, you’ll have to clock up a few hours of play time. The fish move in a very realistic manner and look even better than those in Endless Ocean, which is pretty impressive when you consider that this is a WiiWare download.

When you throw some food in the water your fish will swarm to it, just like they would in a real aquarium. In addition to this you can tap on the glass and watch the fish react to it. Watch out when putting larger fish in the same tank as smaller fish, as they might get eaten! You can also set up as many as three special dates, such as birthdays, for your aquariums. When you view your aquarium on one of these dates, the fish will entertain you with a special dance to celebrate the occasion. Perhaps most interestingly, if you want to know more about the fish you can also read a little information about each of them. If you have younger members in your family then this may be of particular interest as an educational resource.

Another neat touch is you can trade aquariums via WiiConnect24, ideal for those with friends and family elsewhere to interact with one another. My Aquarium also interacts with the Weather Channel to create different effects, which is pretty impressive too. When you are happy that your aquarium looks just the way you want it to, you can hide the menu around the screen in order to make it function as a screensaver on your TV. This feature might be particularly good for chilled out parties and such like. Aside from all that, there's not really any 'gameplay' as such here. But as we said at the start, viewing My Aquarium as a game would be a mistake; it doesn’t make any claims to be anything more than a fish tank simulation. You’ll find My Aquarium to be a very calming and unique experience; therefore its appearance on WiiWare is completely justified.

Conclusion

My Aquarium is not a game, so we're not reviewing it as such. If you are happy that in downloading this you’ll be getting a virtual aquarium, then you really can't go wrong here. It only costs a measly 500 Wii Points and there is lots of scope for customising tanks and changing the fish. If you get bored you can just change things around for a bit of variety. You probably won't touch it for more than 10 to 15 minutes per day, but it is a relaxing experience for the time you spend with it, which really is the whole point. For this reason we're recommending it highly; it really is a unique experience that will provide enjoyment for people of all ages and backgrounds.

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User Comments (77)

Terra

#1

Terra said:

I'll get this and turn it on when in a stress. Should be perfect

Rawk_Hawk

#4

Rawk_Hawk said:

Wow! I did not expect an 8/10 but it looks good and I might consider buying it. I was trying to hold off for Alien Crush R.

@ Marcel /anyone who has played this
Do you think fans of Endless Ocean would enjoy this?

Matt

#5

Matt said:

Does it properly support 16:9 without going all stretch-o-vision on us? (as well as 480p?)

DrakeStaff

#6

Drake said:

This is basically the aquarium mode from Endless Ocean with some more customization, so if you liked that, you'll like this :p

DamoAdmin

#7

Damo said:

Great review Drake. I really like games that relax me, makes a change from getting all worked up playing the latest fighting title! For 500 points this sounds excellent, I think I'll get it over the weekend and see if the kids dig it. :)

Bahamut_ZERO

#8

Bahamut_ZERO said:

Woah!!
This is the 4th/5th highest rated game at WWW!

For 500 points it looks like you can't go wrong!

Objection

#9

Objection said:

I find it interesting (but not necessarily wrong) that you gave it a higher score than if it were judged as a game, but I guess each review should be set around what the player expects from the outset for their money.

Jazzem

#10

Jazzem said:

This seems like a good idea and they've definitely picked the right price for it (Hudson have learnt their lesson after Star Soldier R!), but I'm not sure if it's for me. Maybe when I get some more points I'll check out a few videos and consider it.

Great review as always Drake :)

Tides_of_Chaos

#11

Tides_of_Chaos said:

It's interesting to see a non-game get a high score but I still don't have any interest in getting this game. I'd rather get Endless Ocean which interested me in that you could actually swim around with the fishes rather than have to just watch them the entire time......I already have a (very dirty) fishtank for that!

Bahamut_ZERO

#12

Bahamut_ZERO said:

This looks especially good for little kids. I might get it so my younger relatives have something to do when we get together for holidays.

Wiiloveit

#13

Wiiloveit said:

I've just been into town to pick up my Wii Points card (and a new phone after my "repaired" phone came back pink instead of blue), and as I am writing this Mario is currently running across the bottom of my telly picking up the coins as the game sets itself into position on my Wii Menu.

I knew this was going to be good when I watched the trailer the other day on my YouTube subscriptions list, and judging by the (rather good) review, I was right!

I had to delete the internet channel for this, and here's hoping I won't regret it.

LAA

#14

LAA said:

I cant belive that Strong Bad is a worse game than this!
I've played a lot of games like this in the past, they're boring!
I can agree that for 500 points its a good buy, but I think Strong Bad is much better!

worrybomb

#15

worrybomb said:

If My Aquarium comes out this Monday, I'll probably be tempted to buy it after this review. It looks like Hudson did a great job making this just like owning your own fish tank. Plus its nice to hear the visuals are great.

For 500 points, this game is hardly worth complaining about. Not only is it a cheap WiiWare "game", it's even cheaper than owning your own fishies. I hope this game gets better recognition than Star Soldier R. I want more Hudson WiiWare games. =)

Bensei

#16

Bensei said:

Doesn't this game live on from the Wii's internal clock?
I mean, was one day enough to review the game?
Nah, from what I read I think non-games just don't need as much time.

Ark

#17

Ark said:

@LAA

Well, My Aquarium was rated on the basis that it is not a game. Strong Bad was rated as a game. You can't really say either is better than the other because they're completely different.

Rawk_Hawk

#18

Rawk_Hawk said:

Thanks Drake! I figured it would appeal to Endless Ocean fans like myself.

Its also good that Wii Ware has gotten 2 games( SB and Aquarium) with solid reviews for a change. Wii Ware games need to pick up the slack unitl the holiday season arrives.

Also I am really looking forward to more of Hudson's games. I have to admit they are 2/2 with good Wii Ware titles. Lets see if the trend continues with Tetris Party and Alien Crush

lockelocke

#21

lockelocke said:

I'm strangely tempted. Always wanted fish as a kid...
Hudson is really controlling the WiiWare service, releasing a lot of varied material, which is cool because people who like Star Soldier R may not be the same who like My Aquarium, but Hudson is providing for both audiences. Not to mention the upcoming Bomberman and Alien Crush games. Other publishers should really study up.

whitemest

#23

whitemest said:

im curious and didnt see it in te review or comments, but are aggressive fish available too? when i was a kid we use to own needlefish-fish with a pointed snout that worked sort of like tweezers. would only eat feeder fish..

konkerdoodle

#25

konkerdoodle said:

Wow, an 8/10. I was not expecting that at all. I don't know why everyone says Wiiware is crap, the majority of the games on the service are at least above average.

Bahamut_ZERO

#27

Bahamut_ZERO said:

Usually the number of comments is double by now.

Just goes to show how many people are "excited" about this :P

I actually used to own 2 Fighting fish....

Untill they ate each other that is :P

Peznaze

#28

Peznaze said:

Hmm.. I really hope the reaction to tapping the glass is finding some dead fish floating in the tank the next day...

Sounds like a nice aquarium simulator, but I've got one already, so... I'm good.

Adamant

#29

Adamant said:

Nice to see a mature review of a non-game like this, rating it on the basis of what it actualy is. I fear sites like IGN and Gamespot, not to mention Joe Gamefaqs-reviewer are going to award it terrible scores because "you don't do anything, worst game ever lol".

chiefeagle02

#30

chiefeagle02 said:

Okay, the review's got me tempted now to download this when it crosses the pond. I'm quite surprised that it received an eight out of ten (that and the review came as quick as it did). I want to wait for other reviews first though.

Very well written review.

rbtransformed

#31

rbtransformed said:

I wasn't interested in this simulator until after reading the review. (Excellent job btw!) This seems to be highly worth the $5 price tag! I think I will get this... it would be nice to have this going on in the background as I write up reports and other stuff for school.

Plus, I'm sure the Beethoven and Bach music will be soothing. Hey, even getting 35 songs for $5 is worth it! haha

Jogurt_the_Yogurt

#32

Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

I am SO glad this game got a better rating than Strong Bad. Pretty awesome! I was afraid people would sell this one short because it's a fish tank sim, but it really does seem like good value for the money.

JimMii

#33

JimMii said:

I've got a huge TV and very little free time to maintain a fishtank, so this looks like the perfect solution.

It would be interesting if in the future DLC Fish Sets were offered-up for say 200 - 300 Wii Points.

Hopefully, someone will release a similar program around Christmas which features a fireplace and Christmas songs (for those of us without a fireplace).

JimMii

#35

JimMii said:

@Bahamut ZERO

Considering that Space Invaders will be offered for 500 Wii Points, I wouldn't suspect that the game would include more than a handful of stages.

DLC content (in my option) is a perfect solution. It allows individuals to decide how worthy a game is of their money (Wii Points) and available storage space (Block Size).

If you like a particular game, you can download more content. If not, at least you weren't forced into shelling-out more money and sacrificing additional storage space.

Bahamut_ZERO

#36

Bahamut_ZERO said:

Yeah, but it makes developers have an excuse to make less complete products. I would have a less problem if we had a storage solution though.

ARE YOU READIN' THIS REGGIE! GIVE ME A DANG MEMORY CARD!

Just needed to get that out :P

Adamant

#37

Adamant said:

"Hopefully, someone will release a similar program around Christmas which features a fireplace and Christmas songs (for those of us without a fireplace)."

Wow, that is a great idea. I'd buy it.

WeeGee

#38

WeeGee said:

Nope, I'm not getting it. It looks like a waist of $5. Not something I'd find appealing.

WoRMaSTeR

#40

WoRMaSTeR said:

Got this last night and I have to say I'm not very impressed yet. I really wanted to name my fish, but it seems to lack that function. I hope it will be more fun to watch them grow than it was trying to interact with them. Also there could have been more options when building your fishtank. All these problems could easily be fixed with DLC though.

So while I don't fully agree with the review score, for people that have allways wanted an aquarium (like me), but don't have the time or money to invest in a real one this is a good solution. I would give it 7/10.

RedStripedd

#41

RedStripedd said:

Well.. this game looks good but im probably not gonna get it. Right now, it is Australia/Europe's ONLY exclusive. America will probs get it on monday, but for now, i want us Australians to pride ourselves on our only exclusive!!

danik

#42

danik said:

Bargain download! Not much to do but pretty dam relaxing! worth it

Bahamut_ZERO

#43

Bahamut_ZERO said:

It does the job of having fish really well. In real life, you'll probably only spend 15 minutes with them a day, to feed them. Looking at them all day is fairly boring. And on the idea of naming, you don't exactly attach colars to your fish, you just name them and remember, so it does that good too.
Very realistic and worth 5 dollars, but ONLY if you know what you're getting into. This is Nintendogs, with fish. And fish aren't as fun as dogs.

Kenji510

#47

Kenji510 said:

Hope we get this game by the end of month of August... one of my type of games i like! :D

Ziondood

#50

Ziondood said:

i thought i heard sumthing about hudson wanting to have it out in the us by the end of august. so well just have to wait and see =]

Sidney_bl

#51

Sidney_bl said:

I have it right now on my TV screen. This "game" is really beatiful!

It's true: fish look and move better than those in Endless Ocean. Well, it doesn't have a lot of options, but it's really entertaining to watch if you like this kind of things.

Ricardo91

#56

Ricardo91 said:

Yeah, this did waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than I thought it would. I guess it does what it sets out to do pretty well (provide people with a relaxing, aquarium-like experience without all the management.), and the price also probably helped that score too, given that it's half the price of My Pokemon Ranch (and also not as ugly). And since it's too expensive and laborious to keep a real aquarium, I might get this when it reaches America.

Though I'd still rather have Insaniquarium. :P

Terra

#57

Terra said:

Insaniquarium? Haven't played that for years. I'd love to see that on WiiWare

Tate24

#58

Tate24 said:

i really enjoy this game, i find myself loging on everyday, just to feed my fish, i dont even think about it now i just do it.
Or messing around with objects and making my aquariums look good. My angelfish, black molly and tang, have bred, only couple of days ago. when u start, your fish start out as babys and soon grow larger due to feeding them everyday.
Ive unlocked 3 different types of fish including yellow piranha!!! it warns you not to put other fish in with them due to them beening eaten lol.

i had party other day and on my flat screen tv it looked iike real tank sitting in wall, loads people were checking it out, saying it was very realistic. and most didn't believe i got it so cheap, just for fact fish are very detailed and from far it looks as if its running off different system, and most of my friends were surprised it was wiiware game. And only cost me 500 points, ive paid 1000 point more then once for wiiware games and not got my moneys worth or any enjoyment out of them. So this was nice change, it reminds me of endless ocean - the exploring.

ps. nice review

SirToasty

#59

SirToasty said:

hmm...this seems like a game i would get! Ill wait for it too come too USA so i can buy it.

WaddleWave

#60

WaddleWave said:

Hmm... not to offend the reviewer but, 8? So this is better than StrongBad's game?....

chiefeagle02

#61

chiefeagle02 said:

I downloaded this. It's not bad for background noise, especially with the classical music going.

DrakeStaff

#62

Drake said:

@ WaddleWave: You really can't compare this to Strong Bad. Entirely different groups of people will like them. My Aquarium just does better in its own genre than Strong Bad does in its own genre.

Rawk_Hawk

#63

Rawk_Hawk said:

I just downloaded this and I really enjoy it. Drake's review is right on. Its cool to put this on while napping or reading. I feel its easily worth 500 points and can't wait to see what fish I will unlock.

Wiiloveit

#64

Wiiloveit said:

After seeing the MetaScore I have finally decided that Eurogamer really is a load of rubbish and I will no longer be looking at their stuff due to their overall arrogance towards the Wii. As for NGamer's 40/100, (the Japanese version of) the game was given two out of five stars in their latest issue, which is below average. They gave this because "if you don't have a fish tank, it is a reasonable compromise, but it's no substitute for the real thing". As an NGamer fan, I thought I should clear that up and leave it there, but I just want to you to know that my WW reviews will always be coming from you guys!

joyiscrazy

#65

joyiscrazy said:

My kids really like this! I have a 3 year old and 16 month old twins. My 3 year old loves "tapping" on the glass and watching the fish dance. We keep it running in the back ground almost all day and it is a great substitute for them zoning out on television. We love the music as well. It was well worth the money for us. As a stay at home mom, I am always looking for fun ways to teach my children and this is a great way to help them learn about fish.

Tamra

#67

Tamra said:

Ok, one bummer about this "game." It does support 16x9 in that it doesn't stretch things to fill the screen and the fish will swim around through all portions of the wide screen. However, you cannot place objects, such as rocks, plants, or driftwood, outside the confines of the 4:3 screen. As a result, your decorations look strangely clustered in the middle while the outer edges of the screen are blank.

It might have been nice if the fish had some behaviour algorithms -- i.e., Neon Tetras should tend to school, and Clownfish should tend toward the bottom of the tank.

That said, it's a nice little simulator. It looks good, and there is a very wide range of nice classical music to play in the background. I'm liking it so far, though I haven't unlocked anything yet.

Serpent

#68

Serpent said:

wow it is better then i expected.
Looks like ill give this a download, just for its cheap price and my little brother might like it.

grimor

#72

grimor said:

0/5 Broken Wii-motes on the frustration meter
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Of course it's not frustrating, but that's the point isn't it? Not a horrible way to pass the time after you're done checking the weather. The fish animation was ok for swimming, but eating and playing consists of just swimming back and forth near food. Not overly entertaining.

Cost: 500 Worth: 250

Kirk

#73

Kirk said:

I can see why this would be popular.

I mean I bought and loved Onslaught and yet something about this game is slowly tempting me..

lol

morphballer

#74

morphballer said:

The only thing that would validate the $5 price tag for me would be if it had mp3 playback.

Supermarioman

#75

Supermarioman said:

Do the fish die? In real life no matter how hard I try, I can't get a fish to live for more then a year!

Cornelius

#76

Cornelius said:

This is what I "play" in the background when I'm on the pc. The combination of sound and music in this makes for an ideal environment. Controls don't deter from the zen, either. Simulating the movement in feeding the fish/plants gives me a good feeling (strange), the menu's are easy to navigate, and placing/moving items in the tank makes great use of the remote. Besides, do you know how much these tanks, fish, and accessories would cost in real life? Here's $5.00. Thank you.

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