As a general rule, I try to avoid playing RPGs and PS2 games during the school year. As it is, I’m already having difficulty balancing my academic, extracurriculars, and social/love life. There’s just not enough time for a video game life, what with papers, exams, deadlines, and bumming around at school doing absolutely nothing.
However, I’m too much of a geek to completely forbid myself the pleasure of video games in the middle of the semester. Every now and then I allow myself to indulge in simple, downloadable games to get my mind off stress and, er, have a reason to procrastinate. Last year, I couldn’t stop playing Kingdom of Loathing. A few weeks ago I was really into the PC version of Risk–a board-game like game where the main objective is to conquer the world. I also managed to download a copy of the [tag]Oregon Trail[/tag], which used to be my favorite game when I was a kid. But I eventually got sick of the two games and got around to actually doing some studying.
Today, I am unbelievably addicted to [tag]Insaniquarium[/tag].
Like most addictive games, the concept behind Insaniquarium Deluxe is very simple. The objective is to raise guppies, collect as much money as you can from the coins the fishes drop, and keep the occassional alien from killing all your fishies. The main game mode is the Adventure mode, where you have to raise a certain amount of money to get through five different stages. After you complete every stage, you receive a marine pet that helps you raise your fish, collect money, or battle the aliens that invade the aquarium. Yes, there are aliens. O_o They can be very annoying when they kill off most of your fish but then I’m kind of glad that they’re around. A game’s no fun if there isn’t any real adversary to battle off.
There’s actually a little strategy involved because you have to choose the best combination of pets to include in your aquarium. There are around 20 pets, but you can only use up to three of them at a time. Each pet has a different ability. For instance, Prego the Fish gives birth to a guppy every now and then, saving you the trouble of buying a new one every time. Meryl the Mermaid makes the fishies drop coins faster. My favorite combination is Prego, Zorf the Seahorse–who automatically feeds the fish, and Stinky the Snail–who helps me catch any coins that I might have missed.
God, I sound like such a dork.
There are two other modes aside from the Adventure mode. The Time Trial mode is where you have to collect as much money after a given amount of time, and Challenge Mode is where you have to deal with price inflation and difficult aleins. I haven’t tried the latter yet, because I just downloaded the game last night and am still concentrating on collecting as much money as I can to improve my Virtual Tank.
The Virtual Tank is basically a virtual aquarium. The money you earned from the three pervious modes can be used to buy guppies, carnivorous fish, exotic fish, and acquarium accessories. It works just like an actual aquarium: you feed your fish and with time, they’ll grow in size. It’s really funky because you can use your Virtual Tank as your screensaver and it’s nice to just kind of stare at it and watch your fish swim around. The best part about it is that there are no aliens! I think there’s an option that allows aliens to enter the acquarium but why in the world would I want to do that?
Lucky for me, next week is going to be light–no homework, exams, or articles to write, for once! I suppose it’s best if I play Insaniquarium to death now so that when hell week comes around, nothing can distract me from being a productive student.Google+