Review by Ofisil

"Fun or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?"

Insaniquarium is a Strategy or Breeding\Constructing game developed by Flying Bear. Small developers sometimes choose to surprise us by delivering a game that with a few more polishing, (or none), and with a larger budget or popular developer behind it could be extremely popular. But enough with the intro, let's see what this little gem is.

Gameplay: 8/10
Replay Value: 6.8/10

In this game you view a 2D aquarium and you start with some money and some guppies. You throw food in the aquarium by clicking on the screen and if the fish are hungry they eat it, if they don't have something to eat they die. After some feeding they get bigger and start producing coins that in order to collect you must click on them. By gaining money not only you can put more guppies in the water but also buy many upgrades, like increased food quality or quantity, better weapons used for killing enemies and more importantly better creatures to put in the aquarium that produce more valuable items like gems, purls and many, many more. Guppies can produce silver\gold coins and gems depending on their size, but you can also give them a potion to make them produce Stars, which can be fed to an octopus like creature that in turn creates gems! There are carnivores that eat small guppies and produce gems, but there are also bigger fish that eat those too! We have some crab-like creatures that again eat guppies and produce beetles that another kind of fish can eat.

The game is already very addicting, but that's not all! We have 2 things that make it more interesting… pets and enemies! Pets are creatures that you unlock in the standard Adventure Mode and that have certain skills. Some help you collect coins, some produce more money, some help you kill enemies, some help with the feeding, etc. There are many Pets available and most raise the Replay Value quite a lot. Enemies are some aliens that appear throughout the game and try to kill your fish. You kill them by zapping them with your laser, (mouse clicks again!), while trying to push them away from your fish. There are many kinds of aliens, with some simply swimming around, others shooting rockets, others regenerating health, etc.

Apart from the Adventure Mode, we have a Time Trial and a Challenge mode that are all great. The Virtual Tank mode is very boring and its purpose is to be actually used as a screensaver, (which is buggy as hell). What ruins the game though? Mouse clicks. LOTS of ‘em!!! I've spent over 1000 hours playing Diablo 2 and I haven't clicked so much as I've clicked playing Insaniquarium Deluxe for about 2 weeks!!! You click to feed, to collect coins, to kill… and since the screen literally fills with fish, (you can't even see the background any more), you must click like crazy, sometimes without even knowing what you are actually clicking! While I love the game all this mouse clicking can destroy your hand, (I'm not kidding), so because this game is so damn tiring I usually play one or two matches per day and that's it…

Graphics: 7.3/10
Design: 6.8/10

In this game everything is 2D although those familiar with 3D Design software will surely recognize the technique used to make the numerous sprites available. Everything in this game is cartoonish, thus very colorful and quite cute. While simple, the design of each creature you own or the design of each enemy is quite good and with a nice and sometimes funny animation. You face an aquarium from one side were you view your fish swimming around and as the game progresses you will fill it with all kinds of stuff. All in all this game has a nice variety of available, fish, items, pets and enemies, 5 background images and very simple but good special effects like explosions, laser beams and many more.

Sound: 6.6/10
Music: 5.5/10

Can't say anything special here… without being spectacular the sound effects and music of the game do their job nicely. The music consists of calm, tropical-like themes and the sound effects while simple are well chosen, have good quality and very good variety.

-VERY good and addicting concept… I want my life back!!!
-Many creatures to buy, pets to unlock and enemies to fight
-Very good cartoonish graphics

-Way too much rapid mouse clicks required!!!
-The Virtual Tank Mode

Also Play:
Feeding Frenzy 2 (PC)

Overall: 6.8/10

Insaniquarium is a great, extremely addicting and well-made game… The price of 20$ is just fine with me, the only big problem this game has and that may discourage many, (like me), is the fact that all this clicking is tiring and bad for the health of your hand… so its your choice: Fun or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Tough choice…

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/07/10

Game Release: Insaniquarium Deluxe (US, 09/02/04)

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