If you like theme park management style games like the masterpiece that is RollerCoaster Tycoon (1 & 2, not so much the third one even though it was still fun) then you will like this neat looking game.

Already been available on the PC since last year but has now made its debut on the Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. Todays review will be based on the Xbox One X. Now I'm sorry but this game doesn't bring as much intensity as RollerCoaster Tycoon but is still a fun management game nonetheless. What is Megaquarium you ask?

Megaquarium is a nice and smooth management game where you have to develop and construct your own aquarium. You start off with a little plot of land that only resides of a small amount of space and an entrance for the guests. The tutorial is a nice way to get you started, walks you through the process, the UI, the goals and more. Now the game is split into two different modes, campaign and sandbox. I would seriously recommend the campaign first because it introduces you to a nice learning curve. You start off with a nice small aquarium and have access to the basic equipment to work with. The game just eases you in at the right pace because there is a bit more to the game than just making a tank and putting fish inside it. It shows you how to build the tank, add in the essential extras like the filters and the feeders that every fish tank needs. Even things like heaters and tool stations that your staff are going to need to efficiently. It is really refreshing to play a campaign that teaches you the ways to play the game and how to use the tools and facilities provided for you to be successful in making a great aquarium.

As you advance, you'll unlock more species of aquatic livestock to add to your exhibits. Once you open your facility to the public if they like what they see you make a profit and science points meaning you can develop more complicated facilities, equipment and more fancy fish tanks. You will also get ecology points so you can unlock more species of fish to make your aquarium more varied. One of the things I really love about this game is that it uses actual species of aquatic livestock rather than fantastical so you are actually learning about the actual specie needs probably without even noticing you are learning these as you go along. Such as some eels actually need features in their tank that they can hide underneath and they also don't all eat the same kind of food so this is another learning curve for players. Another learning curve is mixing fish, mix the wrong ones together and they could actually eat each other, which is definitely not recommended.

Now the fish obviously don't tend to themselves so you'll need to hire staff to efficiently look after the fish and the different tanks to ensure they are up to standard. The staff are also known as aquarists, these are your life line and an essential part of the game to keep your aquarium up and running and to keep it alive. As you progress you will be working with bigger areas, bigger tanks, more species and it can get a bit much but don't worry, the staff you hired you can actually assign them zones of the facility to monitor and take care of rather than have them wander around randomly, which makes things more easier for yourself, keeping things more organised with a bit more structure to the facility. 

You think once the building is done, tanks complete, fish are in, staff are hired that your work is over? Absolutely not. It never stops. You need to ensure that the fish are fed on time, water quality, heating and lights are maintained otherwise you'll notice a lot of dead fish just floating in the tank, which your guests do not want to witness. Now when you read this all back it sounds like a lot to take on board, however that's the genius thing with the campaign of the game, it introduces you a feature at a time so its not all thrown at you at once being too daunting to keep track of. 

Feel under pressure and need to plan out your move? No problem at all, you can simply pause the game time or you can even speed up the game time, you can use the in-game UI with the D-Pad to access the different features. Left on the D-Pad gives you access to the build options, the foundation of your facility that is nice and split into different sub-sections of construction keeping everything nice and organised to make your life easier. Press right on the D-Pad and you'll be looking at your challenges, goals to strive for in your campaign to improve your aquarium and to give you more purpose into your journey. Finally, pressing down on the D-Pad will open up the management and administration features like your budget, emails and hiring and managing all of your staff.

The controls for this game are really smooth and easy to navigate. It doesn't throw way too many control methods at you making sure that you get a grasp of the tools quickly and with ease. The developers have done really well with the homework and research gone into this game, the fact that your choices will affect not only the livestock but the performance of your aquarium potentially affecting its success, they have really nailed the way to get the players up and running as well with easing you in nice and steadily rather than throwing everything at you at once expecting you to get it all immediately. Once you got used to all of the features and facilities then I recommend you give the sandbox a try. Just make your own place without the worries of failing.

I would recommend this game, especially for the price and the content you get. Just under £20 quid. When I saw screenshots of this game, I didn't really expect much but I've racked up quite a lot of hours on this title and I can see that this game has so much potential and I would definitely get any DLC if made available. So, if you like your management games give this a try and remember, fish are friends, not food!