Fish World: A Big Fish in a Big Pond

Be they virtual spaces (My Fishbowl) or role-playing games (Reef Life), the fish theme is an increasingly popular one for Facebook apps. The latest title we’ve discovered is Fish World from a quiet company called Tall Tree Games.

It has grown to 8.58 million monthly active users as of today, and up until this point it has received basically no attention from us or anyone else. The only mentions of it on Google for example, appear to be from players discussing cheats.

The game is along the lines of My Fishbowl — a digital fish tank type of virtual space, where you raise fish and then sell them. Players start off with a relatively barren aquarium holding half a dozen or so brilliantly colored salt water fish. Over a period of time, generally a few days, the fish grow up to adults. It is the player’s job to take care of them.

Caring for fish is quite simple. Each fish has a level of hunger and happiness that must be taken into account. As such, users must not only periodically feed their aquatic pets (they will die if you do not), but must also decorate and clean their tank in order to make and keep them happy. Of course, such tasks will earn players more experience towards new levels – which in turn allow the purchase of more expensive and exotic fish – but also make the fish worth more on the fish market part of the game.

Once the fish grow to adulthood, they can be sold for more of the virtual currency coin in the game than they cost as an egg depending on both how exotic the fish is and whether or not if they are happy.

Unfortunately, this is the primary way to earn money, so the game is extremely slow starting out. When beginning the game you can really only sell two fish, thus you can only earn a little over 100 coins; not much when the cheapest item decoration is a 60 coin starfish and the cheapest plant 240. Thankfully, there is a curious feature that lets you express your love for your fish, and this earns you a little extra cash. But this can only be done every 12 hours and doesn’t earn you enough to buy anything but a few more fish. However, if you don’t mind a few Facebook emails, you can earn 1000 bonus coins by simply activating a feature that sends reminder emails to your Facebook account. Now that is a good way to get started — and for the app to grow, apparently.

Once do get going, you can actually create a relatively nice looking aquarium, and with a less cartoony look than past fishy games we have seen. The game also has a number of themed items and fish just for the Halloween season including everything ghostly decorations to pumpkin fish (yes… pumpkin fish).

Sadly, not everything is available via coins. There is another currency called Fishbucks that can only be earned through the completion of offers or direct purchase. Granted, there is nothing wrong with this, but with so many possible items under this currency, it is a little frustrating that you have to buy them (unlike other games that make the better items require more regular currency and thus more play time). Of course, as with many other games, the second currency is also a way to get players to somehow make the developer money.