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Aquarist VR Preview

Aquarist VR Preview

In Aquarist VR, you'll be tasked with building up aquariums for people, and it all starts with a flashback from your childhood. Buy fish, decorate for them, and make sure everything's up to their standards!

Starting off with the tutorial: it was very buggy. At first, it was running well as I made the first aquarium and followed all the steps; however, once I had to go downstairs to help the dad, my character would refuse to move. It took me three restarts to realise it was because I had the walking set to teleportation — once I changed that, I was able to move freely around the house.

This was a bit unfortunate as I get pretty bad motion sickness. I decided to use the sitting mode to help with that, and then I found myself facing another conundrum: I couldn't reach items that were on the floor. After a while of trying to fix it, I gave up and just bought more of all the items that fell... until my clipboard dropped to the floor, and I was forced to troubleshoot again. 

Aquarist VR screenshot 1

Eventually, with the help of my wife, I figured out a fix: I would leave it in standing mode but mess around with the height to remain seated. Thankfully, this fixed the issues, and I was able to go back to playing the game and finally pass the tutorial.

Whilst the lack of proper accessibility was a bit of a bummer, the problems don't end there. It feels like my experience with the Aquarist VR is probably the worst virtual reality experience I've had thus far, as there's no option so that items are easily picked up without constantly bending or reaching, it took me a long time to figure out how to put the fish in the water (you just have to hover them above the aquarium and let go), and the decorating is quite unintuitive. 

There is something very awkward about the way I had to keep my arm raised above my head to place items that had no gravity. That meant I needed to stretch out quite a bit to properly place them until I gave up on realism and let my virtual arms pass through the glass instead. Although it's not a huge problem, it was a bit disappointing to see everything I placed just freeze.

Aquarist VR screenshot 2

Additionally, there is no way to grab items however you want for easier placement: they all snap into your hand in a certain position. This caused my wrists to hurt quite a bit while I attempted to turn the decorations properly due to my De Quervain's. 

And lastly, I would like to mention that the graphics were a bit off. My hands were the size of a toddler's, and my height made everyone seem like a child around me. I felt overall very out of place in the houses and areas.

All in all, there's quite a bit of room for improvement in Aquarist VR. While the idea is pretty neat, the execution definitely needs a bit more tweaking — especially when it comes to the accessibility options. 

Violet Plata

Violet Plata

Staff Writer

Liable to jump at her own shadow.

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