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March 2, 2024

Jem Sagcal

Aquascapers can’t yet keep up with the complexity it aims to simulate

March 2, 2024 | Jem Sagcal

An opportunity to try a hobby without spending on materials or touching the grass, Aquascapers can be your gateway to the intricate world of aquariums, paludariums, and vivariums. 

Aquascapers review
Our humble aquascaping beginnings.

Developed by Indonesian Bewolba Studios, Aquascapers ironically puts you into the arms of nature by simulating an Aquascaper hobbyist. Released as Early Access on January 19, 2024, Aquascapers has potential but lacks basic aspects to keep players playing continuously. 

Gameplay: Cozy But Repetitive

Aquascapers follows a strictly linear path of progression in its early access. You receive a job assignment from your computer, inspect the requirements, gather the materials, and design the tank from your gathered materials. 

After a couple of hours into the game, the process becomes repetitive – with almost the same items required per area. To gather these items, you fish or simply pick them up from the ground, whether it’s rocks, wood, or plants. 

Collecting materials is mostly busy work.

Though you unlock more items and enhance equipment as you progress, the game stays repetitive, leaving you wanting something more to improve the experience and create longevity. It is important to remember that Aquascapers is still in its early access, and there’s only more to expect from Bewolba Studios.

An Aquascaping Encyclopedia

A highlight in Aquascapers is the use of real-life fish, plants, and stones. It’s an educational game that makes it a great beginner-friendly trial for those who want to try Aquascaping. Whenever you come across a material in the game’s various areas, a trivia of the plant will appear on the screen. Learn about its origins and major uses, giving players an opportunity to understand the fauna and flora of countries featured in the game.

The tablet provides important info on where we can find new items or fish.

A current bug, though not game-breaking, shows the number of items in the area. Some items will have ABCs next to their names, giving the player an idea of how many are in the area. This plays into the repetitive part of the game, as players would always know exactly where the material would be.

Aquascapers Review: Take it Outside

Aquascapers feels like a game meant to translate into real-world practice. The educational purpose and the immersive insight into how to begin stepping into the world of aquascaping are purposely targeting those who have been interested in the hobby for quite some time but are unsure of the complexities. 

The aquascape of our dreams is far from reach.

With that, Aquascapers is not a game that one would go back to repeatedly or spend more than a day or two worth of gameplay. Instead, it can be used as a guide more than a cozy game. 

Aquascapers is still in its early access on Steam, and hopefully, there will be more to see in the future. For now, it’s still a barebones game and doesn’t leave players wanting to progress.

Aquascapers features some good-looking environments.

Jem Sagcal

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