Allume Systems – Aquazone: Jellies, Turtles & More Collection review

relaxing aquarium screensaver
Photo of Allume Systems – Aquazone: Jellies, Turtles & More Collection
£14.99

If you wanted to observe an extensive array of aquatic creatures, you would probably visit the local Sea World. And even though it’s pretty impressive to witness Flipper’s ball-balancing antics, you won’t see anything quite as exotic as the denizens of Aquazone’s virtual aquarium screensaver. Plus with Aquazone you’ll save on the bus fare, not to mention shoe leather.

The idea of a virtual fish tank isn’t a new one, but it’s a concept that Allume’s original Aquazone Desktop Garden tackled with considerable aesthetic flair. This newly released version is actually a combination of two of the add-on packs which are available for Desktop Garden, and it focuses on all sorts of outlandish plankton-chompers, with an equally inspiring level of visual finery.

From the background coral reefs and Pacific ocean-scapes, to the actual sea turtles, sun fish and jellyfish themselves, the graphics are very sharp. Add to that some subtle ambient lighting, with the sunlight cutting shafts through the water, and this one of the prettiest screensavers we’ve spent an absent-minded minute with.

But is that all it is? Not quite, as there’s some interactivity built into the program. Tap on the screen with your pointer by left-clicking and the fish will react as they would do in real life (allegedly). The trouble is, many of the ignoramuses will just swim on not taking a blind bit of notice, which might be realistic, but isn’t much fun.

Right-clicking brings up a small bank of icons which can be used to feed the fish or zoom in on them. Using these two functions in combination, you can drop some gourmet flakes into the tank and watch the magnified feeding process, but it’s not exactly riveting stuff.

And that’s about your lot in the interactivity stakes, but then there’s only so far you can go with a screen-saving aquarium. We’re sure that dropping depth charges to explode the jellyfish was an option that was on the drawing board right up until the very last minute (and it’s a definite shame it didn’t make the cut, because some revenge on those stinging slime-balls wouldn’t have gone amiss).

In the end, what we have here is a visually pleasing screensaver which boasts some interactivity, but is fairly limited in scope. You can always add more content by purchasing further add-ons from the Web site, but the question is; who really wants to spend that much money on a screensaver toy?

Company: Allume Systems

Contact: 0870 027 0972


Verdict
It's a virtual aquarium screensaver. Expect exotic sea creatures that you can feed and play with a little, and a very relaxing oceanic atmosphere. However, the price point isn't quite so conducive to chilling and considering the limited content, we feel it could have been pitched a touch cheaper.