The virtual pet games back in the day seemed like a good idea and a lot of fun at the time. A few weeks or months later they end up in a drawer or on the bedroom floor somewhere.
Quarium for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a take on the virtual pet scene with my personal favourite virtual pet game of this interactive kind 'Nintendogs' for the Nintendo DS. Nintendogs was the pet game that I played for the longest amount of time. I haven't tried the equivalent for the iPhone and iPad, actually this is my first virtual pet game for the devices (not including iHobo) that I have played.
So as you'd imagine by the title you look after a fish. The App first presents you with an empty fish tank which you are expected to add more too. The obvious first thing you should add to your fish tank is a fish. Once you do that you can interact with it which I will get into later. You will have to buy everything else from getting the fish with money you collect in the game by spending time with your virtual friend or you can use your real money to buy things up front so you get everything quicker.
So as you collect money you may buy a bubble machine and a plant. You may get a castle for your fish to play in ect. The more things you buy the more items that get unlocked for purchase. Everyday you are required to feed your fish something I forgot to do for a week or so and found my little friend upside down. Feeding the little fellow doesn’t require any money however.
You can play with the fish by tapping the screen and dragging you finger around which creates a trail of bubbles. The fish loves to follow your finger around and seems to never get tired. Thats pretty much the only real interaction you get. The fish does move around and simulate a real fish very well I must say. His little interactions and the way it swims about and looks around are all spot on. This is also due to very nice graphics and fish animation. The water visuals need a little more realism as well as the sand on the flour the interaction with both are not very realistic at all solely down to the physics.
So overall I would say there is a somewhat decent amount of content here in terms of items for your fishy for just 99c for the iPhone and iPod Touch version (I haven’t used the iPad version but judging by what I have seen it’s just a bigger version of this, I would quite like to check out the iPad version it would look great to have the App running on my desk with a little fishy swimming about). But it loses my attention very quickly due to very very weak replay value. All I ended up doing is feeding and buying new items for my fish which is just outright dull. For those who are fans of virtual pet games maybe there is something here for you.