Alexey Pajitnov created one of the most wellknown games of all time called Tetris. Another game but on the complete other end of the popularity charts is called El-Fish. El-Fish is an aquarium simulator where you have a whole host of options ranging from just decorating an aquarium to breeding and evolving your very own fish.

There are two fishtanks already set to go when you start the game which is nice but come on where’s the fun in that. You can obviously start by beginning with an empty tank and filling it will plants and such. There is a big variation in the type and you can change the size of the plants yourself, the shape is randomized a lot each time you choose the same plant so no one plant has to be the same but you can select to duplicatie one you like. Then there’s things like moving objects, rocks, creatures and ofcourse the fish.

The fish are obviously the most important part of the game. You start with a couple of fish but it’s easy to catch new fish which are as varied as anything.Once you catch some you like you can name them and then store them for later. The fun part is trying to get entirely new species which you can do in two ways. Evolve fish which takes a single fish and goes through a lot of different possibilities in color and shape which you can select. You can also breed two different fish and then the program will calculate what the offspring would look like. Some of the species are extremely colorfull but sometimes it’s fun just to try to get a single color fish.

The windowslike interface is simple enought to use though ofcourse it’s not like todays power and memory hungry beasts. The worst part is animating the fish which took ages (hours or sometimes days) back when the El-Fish was released on that hardware. It still takes a couple of minutes for each one but I guess that is doable.
Like the game itself says there is no object to the game and no way to win either. It’s still quite fun trying all the different variations but some of them are rather weird. For it’s uniqueness the game is worth trying but it is quite an acquired taste. I love fish though so I might be biased somewhat.

Overal rating: 7/10

Erde Kaiser

This game was released for one system here are some notes:

DOS Released in 1993.
Though it runs in DOSBOX the game is still not very fast when animating fish, it takes a couple of minutes for one fish.
Others I read somewere on the internet that there is a Mac version but most sources I have don’t believe this it true.
Date added Apr-25-2012 22:03
Name El-Fish
Developer AnimaTek
Publisher Mindscape
First released 1993
Genre Misc