Reviewed February 2003
How would you like to feed fish for big
bucks? How would you like to zap aliens with cool laser guns?
You can do both in Insaniquarium, a Palm OS game ported by
Astraware from yet another popular PopCap game.
The magic of the game relies on the “Insane” part.
You must feed the fish when they are hungry, or they will
die faster than any fish in the real world. You have to fend
off alien enemies who will either eat your fish for lunch
or shoot rockets and destroy all the fish in the tank…but
you will get hefty rewards for your hard work. The fish will
drop silver or gold coins when they are well fed, and produce
diamonds when they grow old. If you get special fish like
Carnivores or Star Catchers, they will drop diamonds as long
as you feed them well. These coins and diamonds have to be
picked up or they will vanish before long. Luckily, you don’t
have to do everything yourself. If you start the game in
Quest mode, you will gain pets when you finish quests. These
are special creatures that can help you keep your insane
aquarium in better order. Zorf the sea horse does a very
good job of feeding your fish, Stinky the snail works OK
at catching those coins for you, though sometimes he is a
bit slow. Then there are others that help you fight the aliens,
like Itchy the swordfish and Rufus the fiddler crab. Wadsworth
the whale will take the small and medium fish into her mouth
to protect them from alien attacks. There are also enchanted
creatures like Meryl the mermaid who will sing music and
make fish drop coins faster, and Prego the Momma fish who
looks like a duck but give birth to baby fish.
As many other Astraware titles, Insaniquarium
is an addictive game with fast-paced game play. There are
three game modes to suit players with different gaming schedules.
Quest mode is good for a long battle and wealth making while
Time mode would be good for a quick fix. The Challenge mode
increases the chance of alien attacks. The game is controlled
only by stylus, which is easy and smooth except that I find
myself poking at the screen very hard when I’m shooting
the aliens who are about to eat all my fish. The AI also
helps the game flow; you will notice that the hungry fish
will always pick up the food before other fish. The coin
pick up crew could work a little faster though. The game
could also use restart level feature.
The graphics in Insaniquarium are creative
and lively. The background of the aquarium is colorful yet
not distracting with two color themes and the creatures are
fun to watch. The game is simple for anyone to pick up and
play, and it comes with very useful instructions. The graphics
looks great on Sony hi-res Clies and very decent on low res
devices. If you happen to have a 320x480 screen, then you
will enjoy the landscape big screen hi-res plus view. Turn
your Clie into a letter box insaniquarium theater!
The sounds are fun and plentiful, but you
won’t find the full sound effects heard in the original
PopCap version. The game supports Palm OS 3.5 and higher
including hi-res Clies and OS 5 devices.
With the help of good-looking graphics,
fun animation and non-stop action game play, Insaniquarium
could easily be the next addictive title for your Palm PDA.
After all, who can resist growing fish for living and mercilessly
laser zapping mean aliens?
Playing Hint and Tips
You can only get 3 pets per level, make
sure you pick the sea horse so that you don’t have
to worry about keeping the fish alive.
In Quest mode, the game is over when the
alien eats all your fish. So before they show up, buy some
fish if you are running low on the stock. The whale is a
very useful pet in keeping small and medium fish alive.
Since the Carnivores eat small fish, make
sure you raise all the fish to at least medium size before