I first played Fish Tycoon way back in the mid 2000s, after a friend at school showed me the online version. From day one I was hooked; the game is instantly appealing and easy on the eye. It can either be played online or downloaded from a website such as Last Day of Work or Big Fish Games for a small fee (I paid £2 with a discount voucher, there are loads around if you google them).
The basic premise of the game is that you own a fish store and you breed fish in order to stock it. You can then sell the babies when they've grown up or keep them forever theoretically. The fish can get diseases such as ick or fungus which you have to cure by buying medicine for it. They need feeding regularly, just like real fish otherwise they'll die. The only difference is that they can't die of old age! Feeding and caring for the fish is simple, just click on the item you need in the four slots of the top left hand corner of the game screen and drag it onto the tank. The game plays out in either real time, 1/2 real time, double speed or no speed progression (with the last option essentially freezing your fish in time, so that they won't die if you're on holiday etc.). Trouble can arise when you leave the game set to double time over night as the fish will almost certainly die! However for the impatient among us, it's handy to have the different speed settings as it means you can speed up the process of creating more fish and selling them.
Whilst this game sounds simple and is one that undoubtedly kids and teenagers with time to kill will love, it also has a quite in depth side when it comes to fish breeding. You start off with a bunch of eggs and when they grow to adult size, you can drag the fish into a smaller holding tank at the bottom of the screen to breed them. Once one fish is pregnant, you have to wait a few hours before it gives birth to baby fish. The tanks have a limited capacity though so if you have a full tank and make all your fish pregnant, they won't have any babies unless a fish dies before they give birth. Sick fish can not get pregnant. The complicated part comes in when you consider the games real objective - to breed the 7 magical fish of the Isola isle (for those who recognise the name, it's the same name as the island in the Virtual Villagers game series). Magical fish each have their own individual benefits that they bring to the tank - fertility, longevity, fullness etc. You always start off with the same one magical fish, as it's impossible to breed other magical fish without it (it's the fish of fertility). From there the game world is your oyster; you can choose to focus on breeding the magical fish as soon as possible or you can go down the route of trying to be as rich as possible. Personally, I'd recommend the latter as a better game strategy.
Why you say? Because the more you breed fish, the more breeds you come up with. And the more complex breeds need more accurate environments, just like real fish. More accurate environments, cleaner tanks, better food etc. are all available in the shop - but they're not cheap. You need to slowly build your money up so that you can buy all the things you need to support your more fragile fish long enough for them to reproduce. Your quest for the magical fish of Isola is going to be long and hard and more logical people than me write down the different combinations of fish and what they produce and post it on the web for all the world to see. However I think that ruins the game a bit! The fun is trying to figure out what combinations work to make pretty fish, what sell high, what sell low and what combinations make magical fish.
Now, the downsides of the game. For younger people, and for those who are hard pressed for time, this can be hard to stay on top of especially if you're like me and you forget what speed setting you're on. As a student I have unlimited hours in the day to play around on my laptop so it's not a massive issue for me! Secondly, the difficulty setting hard is really... well, hard. In order to get your first fish to survive long enough to reproduce, you need to be completely attentive to their needs until you have enough money to buy more eggs if they all die. If all your fish die and you can't afford any more eggs, that's it, game over. It's also quite hard to hit on the correct combination of fish to breed the 7 magical fish that you need unless you look it up on the internet.
Another nice bonus of this game is that you can use your fish tank as a screensaver, so you can keep an eye on your fish all the time. I never use this though so I don't know how good it is/accurate it is.
Overall I love this game and even though I never get very far before all my fish die because I tend to forget I have it installed, I keep coming back again to it and enjoy spending my time on it. It's not time consuming if you don't want it to be, but it can be a time drain if you let it!
I really did like this game for multiple reasons however, I did really find the game very simplistic to say the least. It is quite similar to Lemonade Tycoon in that the gameplay is really quite limited. Despite there not being very much to do I found the game really enjoyable to play. The game allows you to have your own vitural fish breeding tank and you have the option to create new species which I thought was a really interesting feature.
The graphics could definately be improved as they are very simple and only 2D. When compared to modern games I found this game to be very out dated but it would however, be better suited as a mobile PC game. Despite the graphics being poor I thought that the variety of colours on the fish helped the game visually to look a fair bit better. I would say though that the movement of the fish in the tank is also very realistic which I didn't like so much.
Perhaps my favourite part of the game was how you could buy new supplies for your tank when you have more money! This is great because you can expand the number of fish in your tank and see them grow. I would also say that the game is very easy to play which I really liked because you can get started almost immediatly. I found that it is also a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Despite it being quite out dated I found it really enjoyable to play alround but I can appreciate that some people will not see past the limitations.
I downloaded the free fish tycoon application for my iPhone and had a few hours of fun playing it on the bus. But I was enjoying it so much I thought I'd look around for the PC version, so I could really have a go at it.
My lovely boyfriend found it for me, and cos he is just that, lovely, he bought it for me! You go to the last day of work website and can either pay by card or paypal, and an email with the key in it is sent to you.
There are 3 modes on the game, easy, normal and hard. I'm playing on easy at the moment, as although fun I did find the iPhone game quite tough going.
The main idea of the game is to breed fish, sell them on, and try to find the 7 rare/magical breeds to complete the game. I've so far found one! I'm not sure how long it is going to take me to find the rest, but it is quite fun playing "God" and mating the fish, to see what breeds I can come up with.
A tip I'm using is to speed the game up when I'm playing, and going on and off the computer to double speed and then slowing it down to half speed when I'm at work or in bed.
I'll review this game further when I've played a bit more, but I'm really enjoing it at the moment.
This game really tested my patience! I would say that there is quite a bit of brain work needed in raising fish. The aim of this game is to obtain the 7 magic fishes via selective breeding. As in real life, it is hard to raise fishes because you have to maintain their environment and ensure that you continuously research on their environment.
Initially, you are given a tank where you can keep 20 fish. There are eggs that allow you to obtain new fishes (hence new gene pool). Some hybrids are more fragile than others and so you need better environment of which you have to pay money for it. To get money, you have to breed fishes and sell them off. In the process of breeding, you have make sure that somehow, the magic fishes are bred.
The game runs in real time so it is possible to leave the game alone while you go about your daily activities. However, leaving it overnight could mean hungry fishes if you haven't fed them before you sleep. They do fall sick and you would have to spend some time ensuring that you check in on them every hour.
It is also important to keep track of the species of fishes and which fish has mated with which. That's where the brain works come in as this helps to prevent unnecessary death and at least you will know what is profitable to breed.
After a while, I got pretty bored as I am not very patient. I think I must have killed quite a bit of fishes in my ignorance about researching the environment. I would say that it was great fun initially while I was all excited but later on, as I was getting nowhere, I chose to gave up instead. Great way to pass time though
I found Fish Tycoon via the same online game site where I bought Virtual Villagers from. I liked the style of game play enough from the villagers game, I wanted to find another similar game to keep my attention.
Fish Tycoon works on a few of the same principles. It's a game that time will continue to pass even when you aren't on the computer. This is something to remember when purchasing a game of this type, as if you are away from your computer for long periods of time, the game will end without you having any control over it.
What is the idea of Fish Tycoon?
The aim of Fish Tycoon is to buy and sell fish primarily. You need to make money by breeding fish and being able to sell them to potential customers in your shop within the game.
Sounds a simple game, but let me tell you it's actually more complex and there's a lot more to the game than first meets the eye.
There are apparently over 400 species of fish you have the option to be able to create by breeding different species of fish to create new ones. Fish breeds however range in rarity from being very common to extremely rare and magical.
To be able to win the game, you have to find seven magical breeds that will be shown within a trophy room.
Starting the game:
When you begin the game, you are given 300 iosla bucks, a pot of fish food, some fish eggs and a growth enhancer.
All of the above are just to get you started and anything else you need to buy to progress through the game has to be bought in the supplies shop.
There is a tutorial which I highly recommend you going with the first time you play as it provides valuable information on how to do things.
So you start by dropping your fish eggs into the tank, and watching them grow. By dropping the growth enhancer in, you will watch your fish grow to the age of seven straight away.
Progressing through the game:
Fish are babies until they reach 20 years old. Until this time you wont know what type of breed they are. Once fish reach adult stage they can be sold, you can breed from them and they can become ill.
If you choose to sell your fish, you need to drag them into your sale tank. You have three tanks available to you, tank one, two and the sale tank. You will have to purchase tank two later on in the game if you wish to hold more fish, as each tank can only hold 20 fish.
If you choose to breed from your fish, you have to make use of the isolation tank on the screen, and drag another fish into the tank to impregnate the fish.
All goes swimmingly unless one of your fish become ill. There are two forms of disease and you can tell as your fish gets a nasty coloured growth or specks on them. All diseases can be treated by buying medicines from the supplies shop.
The supplies shop:
This is a good aspect of the game as it sells anything from a snail to clean your tank, right through to a fertility plant to enhance more babies.
Within here there are also research items to be able to buy. If you want to feed your fish less often, you can research food, or your fish environment if you want to be able to breed rarer fish.
Selling your fish:
As soon as you choose to sell your fish, any adult fish located in the sale tank are automatically up for sale. You watch as all the little people come into your shop with thought bubbles above their head. If they like what they see they may buy your fish, increasing your money situation.
Sometimes fish are set at very low prices so they will sell very quickly, but if you price them too high they will stay in your shop for a long time.
Luckily fish in the game will never die of old age, so you can carry on breeding from them for ages to come.
Fish however will only be sold if you are in the shop screen within the game. Otherwise they will just carry on swimming around their little tanks until you go back to them.
Within the shop screen there are a lot of handy tips and hints to the game if you click on the breeds posters. You can also find out how many fish you have cured, how many times you have fed your fish etc. here.
The game can be played on different speeds. I would recommend slowing the game right down at the end of the day or if you are away from your computer for a long period of time, as the first time I played it, all my fish died in the first night as I had the speed too high on game play.
Waiting for a fish to reach 20 can seem to take ages. In fact it will only take a couple of hours of game play (even when you're not playing it), and a fish will stay pregnant for maybe half an hour on the highest speeds.
As a result of this there isn't always a lot to do within the game so you may need to go away and do other things, but remember to pop back in from time to time.
Finding newer breeds can be difficult as every time I have found a rarer breed it has never made it to adult stage as I haven't researched my environment enough so the fish wont stay alive long enough. Saving up can take a while so you may need to find one good fish to breed and mass produce this breed if you know it sells, so you can make money quicker.
I love getting home and checking on my fish at the end of the day. It's great to pop back in and see what is happening and whether I can sell any more adult fish.
I have my difficulty settings to normal, and you have the option of difficult or easy. I am finding the game quite a challenge on normal, but I wouldn't want it to be too easy as I would get very bored easily.
So far after about a week of game play, I have only found one of the seven rare breeds. (You know they are rare as they are followed by glitter in the tank). I have a long way to go, but it's good to think about which fish you are mixing and remember which two fish made which breed etc. I think I may have to start writing them down so I know which two to mix when I have found a sell able breed for half decent money.
Completing this game took a long long time. I found a lot of trial and error breeding the right species to gain my rare breeds, and have to admit to very nearly using the various message boards available online as a form of "helping" me in my quest.
The one "cheat" I did use was the time travelling feature. I found that the game was not going to grasp my attention for long enough to be able to complete the game properly. I knew I would forget about my fish and come back to the tank and find them all dead. As the game is played in real time, I will admit to changing the time and date on my pc to speed things up a bit!
This game would be suitable for children to get into the whole caring for a virtual mammal game, but it takes a bit of dedication to be able to think about creating new breeds etc., so maybe younger children would lose interest quickly on that aspect.
Requirements and cost:
The game is available on an hour's free trial, but you wont be able to do anything on this game in an hour so if you like it you're going to have to buy it. It's going to cost around a tenner depending on where you get it from so look around.
Windows 98, 2000, Me, or XP
500 MHz or faster processor
96 MB RAM
16-bit graphics and sound card
DirectX 7.0 or better
40 MB disc space
Please note this review is also posted on Ciao where I am also a member
This review appears on ciao as well with little adjustment.
Just in case anyone is interested in what I have been doing with my time lately I thought I would write a review to tell them.
I have been working, having fun and breeding virtual fish! I have been playing Fish Tycoon.
++What's Fish Tycoon?++
Ah, well, it is a downloadable game where you have virtual fish tanks and breed and sell fish.
End of review!
No not really, there is a lot more to it than that.
++Where did I get it from?++
My son was playing this game online which is a cut down version and asked me if I would download it. It only cost £12.99 and as I couldn't think of an excuse not to I did a Google search and paid the money and downloaded the game.
This gives me 5 free downloads, that means if the computer crashes and I lose everything I can download it again without paying for it again. I was sent an email with a license number which I printed and put in the drawer if ever I needed it and away we went.
There are several different download sites that will come up on a google search so take your pick; I do think the price is standard though.
++What did I get for the money?++
Fish, fish and more fish! At the start of the game there are two tanks, a trophy tank and a selling tank and you can click between the two. The controls are very simple; all click with the mouse and drag and drop things around. The game starts with a clutch of fish eggs which you drag into the tank, some food, and some hormone growth liquid which makes your new baby fish grow a bit faster. You also start with £300 so you can buy some more eggs and drop those in the tank as well. Under the supplies button there are all sorts of things that enhance the health of your fish and beauty of the tanks. Do remember to keep some money for medicine though because these fish do get sick sometimes.
Once you have some adult fish you can drag them into the selling tank and click the sell fish button. The screen is a shop and as you watch customers will come into your shop and buy your fish. Once you have sold enough fish there are all sorts of things you can do with the money. You can do research, buy things for the tanks and even buy another tank so you can breed extra fish.
As well as buying eggs to get fish you can breed fish, either two of the same or two different ones which gives new breeds.
Beware! If you cross breed before doing the research the baby fish might die! And once that happens you have to put them in the bin! Shock, horror!
++The point of all this?++
Ah, well, there are a couple of points. First to make money and run your business. Similar to all the tycoon games. To be successful at what you have chosen to do. But the real point is that the river Isola has lost all of its fish and needs seven magic fish to restore the balance. You can get a magic fish from eggs but not very often, the best way to get magic fish is to breed and cross breed the fish you buy from eggs. Each magic fish has a purpose, e.g. the magic fish of health, the magic fish of fertility etc. but beware because if you manage to breed the magic fish of mutation then when you breed fish in that tank you won't always get what you are expecting.
++Who makes this game?++
AOL. Well on my pc it is under aol games and I don't have anything else that is aol because I have tried to keep this company off the pc. I have never seen it in any shops though so maybe it is only downloadable from the internet.
Very pretty, the fish are quite realistic looking if you disregard the bright colours. There isn't huge depth to them or the plants in the tank but they are pretty enough to want to go back and see what you have bred.
Irritatingly repetitive! Glugs from the water pump, splashes when you move fish from tank to tank, the jingle of money as you sell fish and some really simple repetitive music when you are in the shop screen.
Terribly addictive. This is a real time game so you can set it up, put your eggs in the tank and shut it down again; they grow as time passes whether you are there or not. Be careful to remember to feed the fish before you go off for several hours or a couple of days or you will come home to find them all dead and then you have to put them in the trash can and believe me, you feel guilty that you neglected them. You start the game once and then play until you decide to uninstall and reinstall. I haven't found a way to play two games simultaneously which is difficult if two of you want to play but play differently. I just sort of took over from my son and wanted to start my own game so one day I just reinstalled it and started again. My son was a bit miffed but he had moved on to something much more exciting by then so it didn't matter.
This isn't a game you sit for hours over, more a game you can pop back to and check the progress of now and then while you are doing other things.
You need lots of patience too, it can take ages to breed fish and when you are hoping for new breeds and get exactly the same as you already have it can be tiresome. The only thing to do then is sell them and buy more eggs.
++Hints and tips++
A google search once again will bring loads of pages of tips and cheats. There is a way of speeding up time if you can't be bothered to wait for your fish to grow and there are tips as to which fish breed which magic fish. You just have to have the right fish in the first place and I have found that just breeding randomly eventually gets you the seven magic fish.
There is a screen saver button so if you are leaving the pc for a while you can have one of the fish tanks as a pretty screen saver, it is nice if you are doing something else to pop back every so often to see how much they have grown.
Not many options to change the way you play although you can have this game full screen or smaller, you can make the time 2 x time, real time, half time. Can't really change the graphics much and although we have a super graphics card I don't think you need anything special to be able to play this game.
The prices of the fish can be changed, and I do believe however high you put the prices they still sell but I rather like the challenge of selling the fish at their original prices and saving the money to buy other things.
For something so simple this is a game that will hook you. I have been playing it on and off for three months now and still can't resist going back to see how my fish are getting on as soon as I get home from work.
End of review.
Thanks for reading.
brilliant game very realistic and i got hoocked within minuitues only trouble i found with this game is that it was harder to look after than a real fish tank because its always working even if your computer is off!! which means fish die realy easy and its hard to keep feeding them also if you leave it whilst you quickly eat your dinner you will find half your fish with a desiese and the rest dead!
If you've ever wanted to breed tropical fish so that you can give birth to the 7 Pisces of power, then you've already heard of Fish Tycoon.