Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection DLC Review (PC)

Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection Review: Fishing for customers

Megaquarium Architect's Collection

When it first released in 2018, Megaquarium proved itself to be a fish aficionado’s dream (a-fish-ionado?). An aquarium tycoon game where players can create and manage their own aquatic zoos, Megaquarium drew in both tycoon/business management sim fans and… okay yeah, let’s use a-fish-ionados. Already possessing a Very Positive rating on Steam at the time of this writing with nearly 2,000 reviews, it’s clear that the developers would want to do something to keep player interest, but when the original is already great, where do you go from there?

Enter Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection, the second DLC for the base game. At first glance, it’s arguably smaller than the previous DLC, Megaquarium: Freshwater Frenzy; however, Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection changes things up in a big way. Featuring 15 dazzlingly new species like the mantis shrimp and ocean sunfish, new paints and themed decor, and — most impressively — the ability to create bridges and tunnels for more interesting thoroughfares, Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection allows players to really take their aquariums to new heights.

Megaquarium

The original Megaquarium has players building, customizing, and maintaining their aquariums either through the campaign or sandbox mode (or both, obvi). Fish will have certain requirements, such as specific food, tank temperature, and neighbors (don’t want to put predators and prey together!), that must be managed properly, lest the worst happens. Then there’s the business side of things, like creating good layouts for customers, defining and decorating tank spaces, hiring employees, and increasing that sweet, sweet prestige. It’s easy to spend the entire day setting up the perfect aquarium, then zooming down to first person mode and enjoying them from the customer’s point of view.

As for Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection, I guess you can say it builds upon greatness. The addition of the tunnels and bridges are an absolute delight and completely change up how players might plan their aquariums. Watching customers watch fish on one level only to see other customers walk above (and to the side) of the tanks feels fantastic. In fact, the entire building mechanic feels… aquarium-ish. As if the people who would enjoy making thoroughfares for customers are the same people who would enjoy staring at exotic fish all day. 😉

Megaquarium: Architect's Collection

Additionally, the inclusion of the 15 new fish breeds is nothing to sneeze at, as they are extremely interesting fish indeed! The ocean sunfish obviously wows, but it has heavy competition from the mantis shrimp and decorator crab. These breeds pack a powerful punch when comparing them against the others in the tanks, many of them available earlier on than their heavy prestige would lead you to believe. Although it may feel a little imbalanced from a pure mechanical standpoint at times, let’s face it — if your local aquarium had an ocean sunfish and mantis shrimp just chilling, you’d absolutely consider it a crazy impressive aquarium.

When it comes to reviewing DLC for any title, there’s always one question that must be answered: does this DLC make the base game worth purchasing for those who have yet to play it, or is this more for experienced veterans? Although this DLC’s predecessor was more the former with its breeding mechanic, Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection appeals primarily to those who have already dumped literal days into the title and want something new to explore (unless mantis shrimp are your favorite, in which case here you go). That’s not a knock against it — it’s still very enjoyable — but the DLC didn’t add any new campaign levels or mechanics and felt more cosmetic/sandbox related than anything. But when it’s only $8, it’s really hard to argue against it, especially if the base game was your after-work decompression session.

Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection is the perfect expansion for a-fish-ionados who want to take their base game to the next level. The new fish are definitely worth getting excited about, and the addition of bridges and tunnels makes for interesting aquarium layouts. It doesn’t add as much as the previous DLC did, but for only $8, it’s still a worthy purchase for experienced players. If you’ve already poured dozens of hours into Megaquarium but you want something a bit novel to bait you back in, Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection definitely does the trick.


Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Available on: PC (reviewed); Publisher: Twice Circled; Developer: Twice Circled; Players: 1; Released: November 11, 2021; MSRP: $7.99

Editor’s note: This review is based on a retail copy of Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection provided by the publisher.

Heather Johnson Yu
Born at a very young age; self-made thousandaire. Recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend things. Covered in cat hair. Probably the best sleeper in the world. Still haven't completed the civil war quest in Skyrim but I'm kind of okay with that. Too rad to be sad.

Join Our Discord!

Join Our Discord!

Click the icon above to join our Discord! Ask a Mod or staff member to make you a member to see all the channels.

Review Archives

  • 2022 (191)
  • 2021 (523)
  • 2020 (302)
  • 2019 (158)
  • 2018 (251)
  • 2017 (427)
  • 2016 (400)
  • 2015 (170)
  • 2014 (89)
  • 2013 (28)
  • 2012 (8)
  • 2011 (7)
  • 2010 (6)