Megaquarium is a game in which you design and maintain several aquarium exhibits, in a charming and relaxing experience. Learn more in our Megaquarium review!
Megaquarium has two game modes: Campaign and Sandbox. As you can probably guess, Sandbox is an open-ended mode in which you can do pretty much anything you want. Campaign mode is where, to me, the meat of the game resides. When you first boot up the Campaign mode, you simply have to follow the objectives on the right side of the screen to complete the tutorial mode, and once done, you will receive a pop-up message explaining you have been given some funding to begin building your aquarium. You will get quite a few messages over the course of the Campaign mode, so be sure to click on the envelope icon to view any new ones that have landed. You can always go back to check older messages if you need a refresher.
Bear in mind that the controls are inverted, which is something I don’t like. Unfortunately, there is no way to change that particular setting, so you will need to get used to it. Once you get into the swing of it, you should be OK – it’s a simple case of training your thumbs to go in the opposite direction! The Campaign mode does feel a bit linear since you’re taking on the objectives that pop up for you from time to time, but you do need to pay attention to your available funding at all times. You’ll need to spend it on new tanks, fish, and the food they need, all while making sure your customers are enjoying themselves.
Before you invite some customers into the aquarium, you need to make sure everything is perfect, and that includes making sure the tanks have sufficient heating, as needed, as well as filters so that tanks look clean at all times. You don’t want your visitors looking at dirty tanks, right? The Campaign mode will show you how to build thanks, hire aquarium staff, clean things up, and more. It will introduce new elements at a slow and steady pace so you won’t end up feeling overwhelmed.
Megaquarium is much more than an aquarium simulator. You will also get the opportunity to do some research to discover more species of fish, and this is where your ecology points come in. The more points you have, the more fish you can display in your aquarium. You earn ecology points by inviting people to your aquarium to enjoy it, and you can thus boost your profits to buy better stuff. Getting started can be a bit tough because money is going to be tight, and you need to perfectly plan things, so you might need to make sacrifices in order to reap the benefits.
Building an aquarium and making a profit doesn’t stop at that. There are many fish to take care of, and some fish have some very specific needs, so there’s definitely a bit of a learning curve when it comes to finding out what the different species of fish will require. As you play, you will get to understand that some fish are going to need warm water, some are at home in cold water, and then there is the food for them! And then, there are the tanks. Some fish will require a specific type of tank. On top of this, there are fish can’t be in the mix with some types, so you’ll need to stay on top of things.
Something I wanted to bring up is that Megaquarium does not feel very friendly with its accessibility features – or lack of them. There is no option for increasing the size of the font – or for changing the font to one that is dyslexia-friendly -, no colorblind mode, nothing at all. The only things you’ll find in the options menu for you to configure is the sound of the game, as well as its language, which feels very barebones for a 2019 PlayStation 4 release.
I hadn’t played an aquarium building sim before quite like Megaquarium, and I’m happy to say that I’ve very much enjoyed my time with the game. Other than the complaints above about a lack of accessibility options, this is a gem of a PlayStation 4 release that you should certainly check out on Sony’s console. It’s a sim you have to try, and one that will keep you playing on and on and on for many hours.
This Megaquarium review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Auroch Digital.