Tuesday, January 22, 2013

App Review: iQuarium

iQuarium is an app that was first introduced for Apple devices. The main purpose of the app is for you to have an aquarium that you can carry around in your pocket. This is what the developers claim. 

You start of with an empty tank. First you are given one Parrot Fish. He will immediately go about swimming around just like a real fish. If you tap on the tank air bubbles will appear and the fish will vary his reactions to the the tapping. Sometimes he will move toward the bubbles and other times he will run from the direction they are coming. 

Shortly after you get your fish you will get a 2nd item to add tou your tank. Gravel. After the gravel you will get a 3rd item. A plant. 

If you click on the upper right icon you can feed your fish. 

After the first 3 items you will be given the opportunity to wait just about 24 hours until the next decoration will be come available for use or you can opt to purchase points towards the next item. You are also given the option to get free points by signing up for services or downloading other apps. If you chose to just wait the 24 hours for the next item you earn 6 points per hour. The next item costs 140 points so you actually earn enough points for the next item just under 24 hours. 

On to the review.

As you can see from the picture below the graphics are quite impressive. The Parrot fish is not a cartoon rendering but and actually fish. Likely what the developers did was to record a real parrot fish in a tank in front of a green screen capturing it's movement. The bubbles have realistic movement as well. The plant, which is one of the first 3 decorations, evens waves with the movement of the water. The app definitely gets 5 stars in the realism department. 

Unfortunately, the app has several technical issues that really should be addressed. Plus some less technical issues that could be done different. 

The first is sound. Whenever you touch the screen there is a knocking sound. That sound happens pretty much every time you tap on the screen unless you are moving around objects. The objects can only be moved side to side. The cannot be moved forward and backward. The rock can be moved in front of the plant but not the other way around. Likely the other objects that become available will be the same. Some objects will be able to be placed in front of others and other objects will be behind other some. 

The first technical issue comes after you set the 3rd item. You are told that it will be several hours before the next item is available when in reality it is almost 24 hours before that 4th item is available. Now, you could purchase the item. As I mentioned earlier you can buy points. For $0.99 you can buy 5000 points which will let you buy several items. I am not sure how many as prices for items may very. The 4th and 5th items cost 140 points each.

Which brings up another technical issue. There are several dozen or more services you can sign up for and apps you can download and play to earn points. Ever single one I tried, and I tried at least a dozen, didn't work. So, essentially, you either pay for points or wait 24 hours for a new item to become available. 

One other technical issue is the bubbles don't make a sound. Perhaps this is an issue with compatibility with the device the was used to test the app. However, the knocking sound is quite clear.

Lastly, you only get 2 fish. Both are parrot fish. I would have liked to see more varieties of fish available and more than just 2. 

As I mentioned in the beginning. the graphics are quite impressive and deserve a 5 star rating. However, all the technical issues. lack of interactivity, and only having one type of fish lowers that rating significantly. 

Google Play Store Rating: 4.5
AOAM Rating:                 2.9

Now if you want a less interactive more passive aquarium experience this app may be for you. Something you can spend a little time with watching your fish swim around. Something you can add decorations to make it homey for the fish. It certainly will fill that requirement to a t. Nothing at all wrong with that if it is what you want. 

Below is the link to the Google Play page so you can download it and check the app out. 

I hope you enjoy the app. Please take the time to share via Google+, Twitter, and/or Facebook. The option to do so it at the top left of the blog. And, if you are a Google+ member, please take the time to add  Android OS, Apps, and More to your circles so you don't miss any future posts from of us. Feel Free to leave a comment here on the blog as well.

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