Review: Zenquaria: Virtual Aquarium (WiiWare)

Not too deep

With a rather good and successful aquarium simulator already available and a sequel underway, it seems rather futile of Nintendo to release a version themselves at a slightly higher price. Created by Paon of DK King of Swing, Jungle Climber and Barrel Blast fame, Zenquaria's primarily toted feature is the ability to swim around an aquarium as your Mii.

In terms of general features, the game is almost identical to Hudson's effort. It gives you access to a number of different aquariums devoted to one specific species of fish each that you can fully customise as you see fit. This entails picking their exact location in the tank, the image displayed in the background, the accompanying music and what’s to decorate the tank’s floor.

There's a fairly decent variety of each, so you should be able to find something that you like. The objects floating around the fish tank are not in fixed positions – the game will present you with a grid so you that can mix and match, putting everything into the non-overlapping positions that you prefer.

If you're the type who likes to know everything that there is to know, it the game includes an encyclopaedia in which it's possible to look up information on a variety of fish. You can find out exactly where they're found, the usual temperature of the water in which they live and more. You'll also see question marks floating about that present you with a challenging fish-related trivia question.

The ability to swim around your aquarium is mediocre at best, and lacks something that we thought would be a given – free control. Once you've picked a Mii, all that you can do is watch as it automatically selects a path and swims around on its own.

The graphics are quite nice, both the fish and even the aquarium looking pretty realistic. There are also a number of camera angles, so you can leave the game on as a potential screensaver with your favourite view. All in all, however, the visuals are unremarkable when compared to My Aquarium. Another disappointing feature with which this title fails to separate itself from the latter is the substandard MIDI classical music that scores the experience.


If you’re in the market for a bucolic, aquatic and mostly decorative program such as this, Zenquaria isn't the worst choice you could make. Having but one mediocre feature over Hudson's offering and costing 100 more points, it all really comes down to whether you'd rather pay more for that little bonus and support Nintendo or just get the cheaper deal.

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