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System Requirements Windows 95, 98 Me, 2000, XP 233MHz or better CPU 64MB RAM 8MB video card DX 7 compatible sound 125MB disk space 4X CD-ROM Have you ever wanted an exotic aquarium like you see in fancy restaurants or at doctor offices? Do you have bad luck with fish, or don’t like cleaning the tanks? If you said yes to any of these questions then My Sim Aquarium may interest you. Formosoft has made a popular fish tank screensaver, now they made a game out of it.

How do I set up my tank?

There are about fifty fish species to choose from and you can decorate your tank with over twenty different backgrounds. There are over forty different accessories you can put inside of it, even famous buildings! Once your tank is setup it’s time to get some fish. There is no money in this game so it’s a matter of acquiring and giving back fish. Once you buy all the sore’s stock on that particular species, it’s up to you to breed and sell back if you want more. New species will only be available if your current fish are thriving. I haven’t noticed any of my fish doing the side stroke and I have so many fish in my aquarium that I’m not sure if I sent any of mine to animal heaven yet.

Taking care of the fish

The fish have seven different moods ranging from happy to raging mad. There are meters for hunger, growth, health and how much they like you. You can pet the fish and as you pet them more, the more they will like you. There are two different game modes; Expert and Lazy. The fish can only grow in expert mode. In expert mode you have to feed and care for your fish daily. As you feed your fish the water will get dirty and you have to clean it by clicking (I wish it was this easy in real life). In lazy mode the game will auto feed your fish, but they will not grow or breed. There’s an encyclopedia you can refer to for information about the different species.

Feeding the fish

There are a few varieties of fish foods for your new pets. Many of the fish foods do effects like making them big or small, neon or angry. You can also feed them normal food or even pizza!

Graphics

The graphics are pretty good. The fish look realistic and the tank looks very pretty. The water reflections add some realism as well. You can zoom in and follow a certain fish but an option or manual zooming in would have been nice. Other than that I have no complaints.

Sound

There are many different classical tunes you can set as background music. You can set it to random or even add your own wav files. There’s water background noise too from trickling water to ocean wave sounds.

Controls/Interface

This game is easy to maneuver, it’s all mouse driven. The main menu could have been translated a little bit better. It had “Option” and “Credit” as menu choices.

Stability

The game itself ran pretty stable. The box advertises that you can have your tank become your screensaver but I loaded this game on two different machines with Windows XP and the screensaver was not available on either of them. I was really looking forward to seeing that.

Appropriateness

This game is pretty clean the only thing worth mentioning is that there’s a mermaid with a shell bra. I haven’t seen mermaids any other way in movies or games.

Final Thoughts

This is a cute game but it’s definitely rough around the edges. The biggest let down for me was the screensaver portion not being available, especially if that’s a feature printed on the box cover! There isn’t much detail in this game so it’s more like an interactive screensaver in my opinion. Fish lovers and kids may still enjoy this game.

Final Ratings

Game Play 15/20 Graphics 7/10 Sound 7/10 Controls/Interface 4/5 Stability 3/5 Appropriateness 50/50

Final Score 86%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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