|Publisher: GameHouse Genre: Puzzle & Trivia|
|Min OS X: 10.4|
Real fishing doesn’t do that much for me. Bugs and quicksand-esque mud are bad enough, but throw in that burning orb in the sky combined with my paleness, and it’s just a bad situation all around. Real Time Solutions and the Mac Game Store have teamed up to release the Macintosh version of Aquapark, a casual game in the color-matching genre. Simple in concept, simple to play. Is Aquapark too simple for your cash?
Casual : without or seeming to be without plan or method
I’ve expressed my general displeasure with casual games in the past. Too much jewel matching, too many shape alignments. Sadly, Aquapark takes casual to a whole new level. At it’s simplest, mouse to and click on a fish you want encapsulated in your “helium technology” fish catching apparatus. The clicked-on fish floats to the surface, where hopefully, the boat of the same color is waiting to catch it. As the game progresses, more colors, more boats, and some obstacles pop up. Easy. Problem is, too easy. The game is horrifyingly repetitive and there’s no relief in sight. Sure, there's other sea life like octopi that can reduce visibility with ink sprays unless hit with the helium blaster, but there's just no joy in that. There is a “collection” aspect to the game to mildly alleviate the monotony, where as you clear different levels at different stages, you get various items to populate your eponymous Aquapark with, as well as different species and colors of fish to fill your virtual aquarium with.
Casual : accidental: occurring or appearing or singled out by chance
Yes, I know there’s a market for casual games. Various games prognosticators have said that this is the largest market for video gaming in the future. Heck, even giants like Microsoft have gotten in on it with Xbox Live and Windows Live. The primary difference is most of the games marketed by Microsoft on the various Live services have some sort of gameplay mechanic associated with them. Aquapark plays like it was designed by a 9th grade programming class. There’s no apparent thought to the design; rather, it feels like someone clicked on a bunch of things on his or her desktop and decided that a pretty fishing game based on random clicking would be fun and possibly make some money.
Casual : marked by blithe unconcern
Graphically, Aquazone is adequate. The water is blue, the fish are easy to pick out from the background. Sound is limited, as most casual games are, with a calliope feel- same sounds and music over and over. Aquazone could have set the bar higher for both of these, as the artist for the game does show promise, but chose not to. Technically, the game is fine. No crashing, and it does run in a window so I can sort through spam at the same time I play the game to try and extract some enjoyment from the process of playing the game.
Casual : not showing effort or strain
I thought when I read the description of the game that it might have been more than a clickfest, and thought I’d try the review. It isn’t. There’s no tactics, no strategy, and no fun. I’m not a hardcore game snob, there are casual games I like; Tetris is a blast still more than 20 years after it was released, I still play Ocean Express from time to time, and I love some of the Xbox Live Marketplace games, but casual games are still games, and as such, need to be fun to play! More work on the concept, developers! As it stands this game isn’t worth the money.
Oh, one more thing. Thanks to Google's dictionary for the varying definitions of Casual. The review wouldn't have been as much fun to write without them!
Pros• Moderately pretty fish
• Doesn’t crash
Cons• Lack of depth
• Lack of fun