So you might have noticed we’re on a bit of an EGX binge as of late. We didn’t have a large amount of time once we’d got back from EGX Rezzed as we were back to work, then preparing for Will’s stag do. Now the dust has settled a bit and we’ve found some time we’ve been reflecting back on the games played and wanted to spotlight the more enjoyable experiences we had at EGX Rezzed. I could not do one of these features without bringing the game Megaquarium to your attention.
Initially I spotted this game through the window in one of the show rooms while heading to another part of the venue. Instantly I told Will we should go in and check it out. I didn’t get to play this game on that first discovery but I stood there and watched 2 other players play the game out in front of me. I also managed to have a quick chat with Tim Wicksteed the game’s creator from Twice Circled. He seemed really overjoyed and happy at the reception that Megaquarium had been getting. As he went off to take a lunch break, I continued to watch the game being played making sure I’d come back the next day to get my hands on it.
So What exactly is it? Why was I so taken by this game?
Straight from the developer, “Megaquarium takes the theme park management genre and gives it an aquatic twist“. That is the perfect summary for the game. You build your own store, fill it with tanks, fill the tanks with fish, hire staff to maintain the tanks and fish. You research more fish, better store equipment and food. It’s a fish store management game.
And I have no idea why this works and what made me think of it as a highlight of the weekend but It really was. I got to play it on the last day of Rezzed before heading home, and could have sat there for ages. The game was so simple to pick up and get to grips with. The tutorial helped explain the process needed and set objectives for you to complete. Simple tasks like stock x number of one fish, research better tanks. I found I was doing this and pushing my luck in trying to build a bigger store with lots of fish in stock. Seriously I could have sat there playing the game till our coach back to Bristol arrived (coincidentally Tim is based in Bristol too… Hi Tim!)
The downside to this was when I asked the release date. “2018“… Nooooo. Bitterly disappointing news that the game is so far away. It looked so polished from what we’d played. I was informed that the demo was pretty limited and that Twice Circled plan on including a lot more fish to research as well as tanks, filters, foods and everything else you’d require for a beautiful fish tank.
I think the main reason that this game was a highlight for me was how relaxing it is. Even for a management sim game. Of course there is the stress of ensuring your fish in stock are well maintained, and Tim mentioned that plans were in place to include things such as specific fish types could not or should not share the same tank as they’ll fight and eat each other, so the difficulty of it looks like it’ll increase, but the time I spent with it was so relaxing. Making sure my fish were fed and cleaned by hiring the most qualified staff, researching more fish to bring to the store. It was all very relaxing compared to other management sim games.
From the demo that I did play the game shows a lot of promise, the actual building of the store seemed easy enough to pickup and you could potentially build some adventurous shaped stores if you’ve got the money to do so. There was good detail on the skills of the staff already and plenty to consider when hiring them. It’s a game i’ll certainly be following and hoping makes an earlier release then 2018.