Early Access Preview: Fishkeeper – A Soothing Experience

Early Access Preview: Fishkeeper

Fishkeeper is a brand-new project by developer Blinkclick Games where you can become a professional aquarist. Fishkeeper aims at introducing a brand-new take on the aquarium games where you can build your very own dream aquarium from scratch, place your favorite fish in them and then sell them at auctions for getting money for more fish and aquarium upgrades. It not only sounds unique but our experience with the early access prototype was indeed a unique and rather soothing one. This is our early access preview of Fishkeeper in which we build our aquarium and swim with our pet fish in our mini-sub.

Fishkeeper is essentially an aquarium building simulator where your main goal is to build the best aquarium out there and keep fish in it. After the building part, you can look after your fish and make sure that the aquarium fulfills their needs and keeps the fish happy. You can probably then sell your fish for a profit later however this particular feature was not present in the early access prototype that I received for this preview. You start off by placing down a block of glass that will be your aquarium of dreams. You can adjust the size to your liking making it bigger, longer, or higher according to your own taste. You can also add some cool corner styles to make it fancier.

Early Access Preview: Fishkeeper

The game takes place in different levels however what I have understood from the game, the levels essentially serve as the backdrop for your aquarium. These are just rooms that you would like to have in your background while setting up and managing your aquarium. After you are happy with the size and dimensions of your aquarium, you move on to putting the type of water you want in the aquarium. You can choose between salt water and fresh water. This is important since the game offers both saltwater and freshwater fish and plants and they can only be placed in the type of water in which they can survive in.

After choosing your water and filing it to the brim, you can place certain helpful devices that will keep you updated on different stats of the aquarium and also its condition. These include thermometers, heaters, filters, and aerators. As you install different devices, your UI will start displaying more and more data about your aquarium measured by your devices that will help you maintain it in the future. You can continue to decorate your aquarium by putting some a suitable floor which could be sand or pebbles and then some wallpaper for giving the fish some privacy.

Fishkeeper also has decorative items for your aquarium which include sunken ships, rocks of all sizes, and artificial reefs to make it as homely as possible for your fish as possible. Once you are satisfied with how the aquarium looks, you can start placing in fish. Depending on the water type, you can place freshwater or saltwater fish or crustaceans in your aquarium. You can rename the fish and open each fish’s tab to check out their needs and stats. This adds a personal touch to each of your fish because renaming each fish shows that you actually know each and every fish in your aquarium.

For cleaning and exploring your aquarium, you have a tiny sub with a camera on it that you can drive around inside to watch your fish in their home, and while you are in there, clean up different bits of the aquarium as well. Your devices installed in the aquarium require the most cleaning and you can do so easily with your mini-sub by interacting with the devices while you are inside the aquarium. Keeping the aquarium clean is important for your fish as they thrive in clean environments. It also allows you to take pictures of your fish inside the aquarium. You can also customize this mini-sub to your liking with various performance-changing parts and visual options.

Early Access Preview: Fishkeeper

Another great aspect of Fishkeeper is that it comes with a huge Aquapedia as well. It houses detailed information about each type of fish in the game. The Aquapedia was obviously incomplete at this point however there were a few complete entries in there which had each and every type of information in them about the fish such as their diet, habitats, behavior, and more. The game has a lot of real-life fish from around the world so if you love fish generally, the Aquapedia is a treasure trove of fish knowledge for you. The full Aquapedia will be present in the full game when it comes out. With the help of it, you can easily determine how to take care of different fish in your aquarium and which fish can live together, and more.

Even in its current state, Fishkeeping is a really soothing experience. The game still requires plenty of work in terms of gameplay tweaking, visuals, sound design, and adding more features but I had a great time with the game. Many of the features are present in the game but they were currently not activated such as feeding, marketplace, and more. The game also gives you a set amount of currency at this point however there was no way of earning more as trading was currently not active in the game. I am really looking forward to seeing how the game shapes up and would love to see its full version come out eventually.

Final Verdict

I really like the concept of Fishkeeper, and the game is doing pretty well on its Kickstarter campaign as well where a lot of backers are actually looking forward to playing the game. Fishkeeper is the ultimate Zen and one of the most soothing experiences that you can think of. The early prototype that I played for the preview was pretty fun and despite the limited content and features in it, I ended up spending hours on it just watching the fish swim here and there, swimming among them and also cleaning up the tank. The features for the full game look really promising and I am really looking forward to the full release of the title.

You can back Fishkeeper on Kickstarter and also add it to your wishlist on Steam if you like the game.

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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