There’s something relaxing and entertaining about a fish tank. Yet, it’s also cruel. My fish tank was more like a death tank. Like many little kids, I attempted to care for my colorful little creatures. I liked my guppies, with their attractive tails. I would carefully pick out my favorite fish, bring them home from the local pet store, put my fish in the tank and flush them down the toilet in about two weeks.
My fish died!
Today, I could probably do a better job at keeping fish alive. Yet, I lack the desire to regularly clean a fish tank or to spend money on a minor diversion. Instead, I prefer the idea of fake fish. It’s better than waking up to fish floating belly up. That’s why I was intrigued by My Aquarium — a WiiWare addition from Hudson Soft / Hudson Entertainment.
I was impressed with the low cost. It was only 500 Wii Points. The idea of having a virtual fish tank for only $5 was enough motivation. But even at that low price, I felt ripped off.
When I fist turned on the game, it made me grumpy. I found the music to be awful and the sound effects didn’t feel realistic enough. The audio didn’t relax me. It actually annoyed me. The bubbles are not terrible, but the music really bothered me. I turned off my Wii, not sure if I would use My Aquarium again.
Eventually, I would reload the program. The adorable little box on my Wii menu screen helped to soften my opinion of the software. You can change the settings. The sound effects and music can be lowered or disabled. That helped me to enjoy My Aquarium. Plus, even though I didn’t feed my fish within a significant amount of time, I didn’t have to scoop corpses off the top of the water.
There they were, brightly colored characters. They were swimming across my screen. “Hey, do you want some fish flakes?” I could choose from three different types of food for my fishes, animal, plant or earthworm. I sprinkled some food into the tank and the fish munched away on their yummy treats. This made me happy.
Something unusual happened. While I was playing around with My Aquarium, I felt very tired. I actually fell asleep. It was the complete opposite from my previous experience. Instead of feeling anger, I was actually relaxed enough to rest. I woke up surprised, not knowing where I was. I had forgotten that I was using My Aquarium, but my fish were still there. They were still floating around, nice and happy looking.
There was still some lingering disappointment. A real fish tank seems to instill an uncontrollable feeling in many humans – the desire to tap on the glass. I felt the same urge with my own virtual fish tank. I couldn’t figure out how to do it, but I was able to find documentation after pressing the home button. Basically you wave your pointer at a fish and a blue circle will pulse on the screen. It’s a way to play with your fish. Plus, the graphics did impress me. The environments and the fish are beautiful.
Eventually, I was happy with My Aquarium. It doesn’t leak, smell funny or cost a lot of money. I even learned to appreciate the music. I just changed the song. The Beethoven tracks seemed more fitting to the tranquil theme.
If you have kids that want a fish tank, this is might be a good practice kit for them. Yet, I wouldn’t consider it a replacement to a real fish tank. I don’t like the idea of leaving my TV and my Wii turned on, wasting power. If I’m going to leave a piece of electronics running, I’d rather use that power for folding@home. However, as I type this, My Aquarium is running. I find it so soothing.
Photics Rating: 3.0 / 5.0