- Excellent breeding system
- Fun mechanics
- Lots to unlock
- Unlock progression scaling
- Short game play
- Not many avenues for income
AquaCulture Land is the new Simulation fishing adventure on Steam now for $9.99. You’ll breed fish, maint the habitats they live in, and do everything a successful fish farm requires to flourish your business. You visit their Steam store page at https://store.steampowered.com/app/858630/Aquaculture_Land/.
Graphics and Styling
The styling choice in AquaCulture Land is a new age style pixel art. Bright colors, clean lines, and overall vibrant styling are all present characteristics of the styling.
The overall design works very well for the intended purpose of the game. It looks good enough to be enjoyable but isn’t overbearing, causing to much clutter and confusion. Even when you have your entire farm filled with ponds and attractions, the simple design still allows you to know what is going on with every pond.
AquaCulture Land Gameplay
The gameplay is AquaCulture Land revolves around creating, maintaining, and keeping your fish ponds in working order. The game begins as most sims do, given a desolate plot of land, your task is to breathe life into the property.
The main attraction in AquaCulture Land is breeding fish, on contracts, and selling them for profit. Each contract specifies a breed of fish and a specific amount. Once completed, you can turn in your contracts to collect the bounty. This aspect of the game was straight forward. As you advance further and turn in more contracts, you unlock more breeds and higher-level contracts. While the system works and does what it should, it got old rather quick. I would have loved to see more options for income generation other than the contracts and fish ponds.
The progression in AquaCulter Land was probably my biggest issue with the game. As you turn in contracts and gain experience, and you gain access to more tools and better equipment. Each of these upgrades provides a different purpose, whether it be more efficient aeration, better water filtering, or higher power generation. That in itself was a great feature, and I enjoyed unlocking new tools. However, the issue is the rate at which upgrades scale to the rest of your farm.
After around 3 hours of game time, I had a massive spawling fish farm, which was raking in millions of dollars. I had maxed out fish breeding, and I’ll talk more about this soon. I had millions of dollars in reserve, my fish farms where all completely self-sustained and had perfect stats. However, I still had many levels to gain to unlock everything. So my issue is that I was able to max out my farm have perfectly balanced ponds where all my fish were happy, basically making grinding for further upgrades a bit irrelevant. Personally, I would have loved to see the earlier equipment nerfed, making the further unlocks required and perhaps making giant spawling farms a bit harder to achieve.
On the flip side, I love the addition of fish breeding and customization. Throughout the game, you get breeding points that can be used towards breeding fish and increasing their base stats. Doing so allows you to create “new breeds” of fish that do everything from increasing yield, increasing profit per fish, and faster growing times. This allowed for a ton of customization and how your farm runs. Since points are somewhat challenging to get, it drove us into hyper-specialization into certain breeds of fish. I loved this and thought it added a ton of depth to the game.
One final thing I wanted to touch on that I only briefly mentioned before was the ability to create fishing ponds. While the main attraction and money generation in the game is breeding and selling fish. You also can dedicate some ponds to fishing ponds where visitors can visit and pay you money to fish. This allowed you to turn your fish farm into a tourist attraction and earn money via another channel. You unlock the ability to convert farms into ponds later and can only convert a couple to start, but as you progress, you unlock the ability to convert more and more farms to ponds.
AquaCulture Land is a game that anybody who enjoys sim games is sure to love. Currently, there isn’t a ton of content in the game, and I expect most people can get five to ten hours of gameplay. Some of this can be alleviated, I feel, by the developers hampering early game progression and making unlocks more valuable. The game is early access, so I’m sure more features are coming. Pricing wise at just under $10 the game is a good fit for the amount of current in-game content. If you are a fan of casual sim games, I would definitely recommend adding this game to your Steam library.