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Fantasy Aquarium Review - DS

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Gameplay: 1 stars 1
Graphics: 1 stars 1
Audio: 1 stars 1
Innovation: 1 stars 1
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The idea of making a pretty little aquarium on your Nintendo DS and choosing from a variety of animals to swim around your tank does sound appealing at first to those that enjoy simulation games. If done right, the DS could sit near your PC screen and whenever you feel like a break you could just watch your animals swim around for a while. Games like this shouldn’t be painful. Enter Fantasy Aquarium. Painful is an understatement.

Gameplay

On the official website, Mercury Games uses this as the opening line for promoting the game: “Create a fish tank the likes of which has never been seen before!”  We can’t deny that this comment isn’t truthful. The aquariums you can make in Fantasy Aquarium are definitely the likes of which we have never seen before. We’ve seen good looking fish tanks; we’ve even seen dirty tanks with dead fish. No matter how much fish poop you could pile in to a real life tank, it still wouldn’t compare to the likes of which we have never seen before in Fantasy Aquarium DS. Get the drift?

OK, this is a review so let’s get down to reviewing the game if you’re still interested.  The game kicks you off with no tutorial. The buttons aren’t labeled; you have to figure everything out for yourself. You are given five different fish tanks ranging from a 90cm tank to a huge 30m tank to fill with whatever you choose. There are more than 30 different animals to choose from which gradually unlock as you… play… the game, and several ornaments to put in your tank such as rocks, driftwood, and a leaning tower of Pisa (we’re not joking).

It’s up to you to keep your animals fed, and to keep your tank clean. The gameplay is rather difficult because there’s always so much to do. You either have to feed your fish, or clean the tank. Cleaning the tank involves using a scrubber with your stylus to wash the windows. Difficult stuff. There are also many other gameplay aspects to the game… oh wait, no there aren’t. Feed and clean. Feed and clean. No competitions, no tasks, just feed and clean.  We thought maybe the game might involve a little bit more than feeding and cleaning so we searched for things to do. You can exchange fish with another DS… if you can find another person that has the game (we hope that you don’t even have it). You can move your animals from one tank to another (wow!), and you can even raise and lower the temperatures of the tanks. We’re yet to notice any actual consequences from messing with the temperatures of the tanks, but we’re pretty sure it causes them to get dirty faster, make the animals hungrier... well we are making an allowance by claiming the game could be this complex, but it’s unlikely.

Graphics

Fantasy Aquarium is terrible in almost every way possible. The animal models don’t look THAT bad, but they still look like they’ve ...

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