Aquarium Designer Logo

As a youngster I remember relishing the chance to visit my grandad’s house to go and look at his aquarium, although more often than not I was the annoying one pointing out all the dead fish for him to remove. Aquariums however are great for enthusiasts or youngsters learning all about fishy friends. For those seeking a tranquil escape from the digital world, Aquarium Designer on Xbox offers a refreshing plunge into the calming depths of aquatic life. This game caters to both seasoned aquarists and curious newcomers, allowing them to design and build their dream underwater haven without the complexities of real-world maintenance. But does Aquarium Designer dive deep enough to truly captivate players for the long haul?

Aquarium Designer welcomes players with a choice of two distinct modes: Casual and Realistic. Casual Mode throws open the floodgates of creativity, allowing players to unleash their inner designer and create breathtaking underwater landscapes without restrictions. Here, compatibility between different fish species becomes a mere suggestion, and water parameters magically maintain themselves. This mode is perfect for those who simply want to relax, experiment with vibrant colours and unique combinations, and lose themselves in the mesmerizing world of their creation.

Aquarium Designer - game modes realistic and casual

For players seeking a more grounded experience, Realistic Mode dives deeper. It introduces the challenge of maintaining a healthy ecosystem by factoring in fish compatibility (some fish simply won’t tolerate territorial tank mates!), water temperature, oxygen levels, and even the impact of different decorations on these delicate balances. This mode requires players to research the needs of their chosen aquatic life and carefully design an environment that fosters harmony and well-being. It fosters a sense of responsibility and allows players to learn about the intricate relationships within an aquarium environment. There are also storylines to guide you along the way, such as create a fish tank alike to a presented picture a young child has drawn as their dream aquarium.

Aquarium Builder - aquarium setup image containing a blue tropical fish.

The heart of Aquarium Designer lies in its expansive library of aquatic life. Players can choose from a diverse selection of fish, from the vibrantly coloured clownfish and graceful angelfish to the majestic lionfish and the elusive seahorse. Each species boasts stunning visuals and realistic behaviours, adding a touch of life and movement to your underwater masterpiece. While the variety might not rival a real-life coral reef, it’s certainly diverse enough to cater to most players’ preferences.

Beyond the relaxation factor, Aquarium Designer subtly educates players about the wonders of our aquatic ecosystems.

Beyond the finned residents, players have access to an impressive array of plants and decorations. Lush Amazonian greenery sways gently in the current from the tank’s filter system, while intricate coral structures provide hiding spots for timid fish. Driftwood and rocks add a natural touch, and a variety of colourful backgrounds complete the aesthetic vision. The sheer number of customization options allows players to create aquariums that reflect their own personalities, from vibrant reef-scapes bustling with colour to serene zen gardens dominated by swaying flora.

Aquarium Designer - email screen where jobs are sent

One of Aquarium Designer’s greatest strengths is its ability to create a peaceful atmosphere. The game boasts stunning visuals – shimmering scales, vibrant coral formations, and gentle water movement all rendered in crisp detail. This, coupled with the calming soundtrack featuring soothing underwater sounds and calming melodies, creates a genuinely relaxing experience. Aquarium Designer is a perfect way to unwind after a long day, allowing players to lose themselves in the tranquillity of their meticulously crafted underwater world.

Beyond the relaxation factor, Aquarium Designer subtly educates players about the wonders of our aquatic ecosystems. Realistic Mode requires them to research the needs of different fish, learn about their natural habitats, and understand the delicate balance of a healthy aquarium. This knowledge can not only enhance gameplay but also inspire players to learn more about real-world aquariums and perhaps even consider taking the plunge (pun intended) into the hobby themselves. It does however lack mechanics such as breeding which would peak an aquarium enthusiast’s interest.

While Aquarium Designer offers a captivating experience, a few minor snags prevent it from achieving complete perfection. One point of contention is the selection of aquatic life. While the variety is decent, some players might yearn for a more extensive library of fish and décor options. Hardcore aquarists might crave the ability to delve deeper into specific species or regional ecosystems. Additionally, the menu navigation can feel a bit clunky at times, especially when attempting to select specific fish or items within the crowded confines of a fully stocked tank. This can be frustrating, especially for players striving for meticulously arranged aquascapes.

Aquarium Designer fish tank design

Despite its minor limitations, Aquarium Designer on Xbox is a delightful and immersive experience. It offers a good balance between creative freedom and educational value, making it a great choice for casual players and aspiring aquarists alike. While the limited selection of aquatic life and slightly awkward menu navigation might dampen the experience for the most demanding players, the soothing visuals, calming soundtrack, and diverse design options ensure a relaxing and rewarding journey for most. If you’re looking for a way to unwind after a long day, unleash your inner artist, and learn a little something about the wonders of the underwater world, Aquarium Designer is definitely worth checking out. Just keep in mind that the real challenge might not be designing your dream aquarium, but tearing yourself away from it at the end of the day.

CX Score



  • Great visuals
  • Get creative with designing fish tanks
  • Educational on keeping fish


  • No breeding mechanics
  • Menus need some tweaks
  • Enthusiasts may want more depth


By Jamie Tarren

Jamie is the founder of Complete Xbox and a dedicated writer with over 10 years of experience writing about games under his belt. He knows his way around most titles and will happily pick up any genre of game and waste the day away on it. Regularly expresses his desire for Lucozade.

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