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Fish tycoon Megaquarium splashes out in September

Why did the fish stop arguing with the barnacle?

Because she didn’t like to coral.

Why did the shark always consult his horoscope?

He was the terror of the Pisces.

Why was the shipwreck annoyed with its partner?

It had crabs.

Okay so Megaquarium is a fishkeeping tycoon game from the makers of Big Pharma and it’s coming out on September 13.

The tycooning part is familiar. You plop down tanks full of lobsters, octopuses, and tropical fish to create exhibits, while fiddling with filtration systems and managing staff so that nothing goes terribly wrong and wet. We’re promised all kinds of sub-aquatic animals: “fish, sharks, crustaceans, corals, jellyfish, cephalopods and more”. You can also spy turtles and stingrays in the trailer. I think I saw an eel too. Meanwhile, staff doors let you separate the riffraff from the fish feeders, and a gift shop seeks to make money from impressed visitors. After all, this is all about making some clams.

That’s right, I’m not done with the jokes.

Former RPS writer and all-round fish liker Pip was excited by the idea when she played an early version at Rezzed last year. Back then there was talk of breeding practices, fish behaviour and preferences.

“Some fish like to have an anemone host to hide in,” said developers Twice Circled. “Others will bully or eat any fish smaller than them. Some like to nibble plants while others sift for tasty morsels from the substrate.”

It’s hard to tell how deep they’ve plunged with regards to fishy behaviour, but they do say that “their diverse care requirements will demand attention to detail and strategic thinking”. This suggests that, yes, the sharks will probably eat some of their tankmates. A fish feud. There are also plenty of symbols next to the lionfish and lemon sharks that tell you what temperature they prefer, how many sea plants they need, and other environmental requirements. Tanks for all the fish.

This sounds good. But something is missing. We asked Tim Wicksteed of Twice Circled if the noble vegetarian piranha would make an appearance.

“No piranhas yet (in fact no freshwater whatsoever at launch),” he said, “but who knows in the future!”

I guess vegetarian piranhas don’t like being submerged in seawater.

It makes them salty.

Megaquarium is coming out on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux for £19.49/$24.99/€20.99.

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Who am I?

Brendan Caldwell

Features Editor

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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