Video Game: Insaniquarium

Insaniquarium Deluxe is a computer game, created by Flying Bear Entertainment, originally published by PopCap Games, later taken up by a number of other publishers and based on Insaniquarium, which is similar, albeit simpler. The basic idea: The player runs an aquarium and collects money from cash-pooping fish while preventing said fish from dying by aliens who randomly invade your tank. There are a number of "pets"; invincible creatures with a variety of functions that can be earned as the player progresses through the many levels in regular mode. In the Virtual Tank, an advanced version of the game, dollars have been replaced with shells, and more features are present: There are a few new pets, fish with different moods, new food items, and fish with special attributes.

Note: The pets' and aliens' stories can be considered spoilers since they are accessed later in the game.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alien Invasion: Subversion: Aliens often pop into the tank and start destroying or eating the player's fish. They don't seem to be in the mood for conquering. And according to their stories, some of the pets' have bad blood with the aliens such as Gash, Itchy and Blip.
  • Back from the Dead: The basis of Angie the Angelfish's powers.
  • Big Bad: Cyrax
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Stanley, one of the bonus pets, is afraid of nothing but badgers, aprons and badgers wearing aprons.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Partially Averted with Virtual Tank Store-bought Carnivores, Guppycrunchers, and Ultravores
  • Cat Smile: The Star Catcher.
  • Dance Battler: Rufus the Fiddler Crab was a dance instructor until his studio was destroyed in a freak accident. He becomes a mercenary for hire while still retaining his dancing skills.
  • Dead End Room / Unwinnable by Insanity: The Tank 6 Glitch.
  • Dem Bones: Vert the Skeleton and Bilaterus.
  • Elite Mooks: Every alien beyond Sylvester and Balrog. All have distinct roars, distinct signatures, and need a little more strategy to defeat beyond "shoot until dead".
    • Gus is immune to laser fire, and has to be fed with fish food until he explodes.
    • Destructoid stays at the bottom of the tank and fires missiles that need to be shot down.
    • Psychosquid occasionally turns blue and passive, and will regain health if shot.
    • Ulysses fights similarly to Destructoid, except he fires energy balls that need to be reflected back at him.
    • Both of Bilaterus's heads must be destroyed to kill him.
  • Enemy Mine: Itchy and Gash will work together to kill aliens, despite Gash wanting Itchy mounted on his wall.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Clyde, a Jellyfish, and Psychosquid, a, well, squid.
  • Flame War: In-universe example, apparently flame wars have been fought over which of Bilaterus' heads controls him.
  • Game Mod: Different songs, different food colors, and more.
  • Hit Points: The aliens' hit points can be seen when Blip is in the tank.
  • Konami Code: Used to unlock Sandbox Mode
  • Our Mermaids Are Different
    • Meryl is a former well-known pop star; when she sings, the fish drop coins.
    • Balrog is a hostile alien merman who attacks your along with other aliens.
  • Mook Chivalry/Genre Blindness: Apparently, Ulysses, the type-U alien, can shoot already-lasered energy balls if he wants to, but he doesn't due to an honor code that all cyclopes share. Also, he's dumb.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: Prego the Mother Fish, a benign version of this trope.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Stinky the Snail, who picks up falling coins for you, knew early on that he was a miser. Clyde, on the other hand, collects money for his mother's operation.
  • Psychic Powers: Blip opens buying options and reveals when fish are hungry, when aliens are about to attack, and aliens' hit-points. He was also able to sense a bad feeling at the bottom of a tank; the other fish in the tank were jerks to him, though, and so he didn't bother telling. Then, an alien came and ate all the fish. Blip felt guilty after that and vow that he will only use his powers for the benefit of everyone.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Itchy wasn't actually an alien-despising warrior before. But his friends were devoured by an alien, so Itchy seeks to murder every alien in existence.
  • Shout-Out: One species of alien is called 'Balrog', a reference to the J.R.R. Tolkien's evil humanoids from Middle-earth.
    • Another, Sylvester, looks like the Alien from... well... Alien
  • Spiritual Successor: Plants vs. Zombies, which was originally envisioned as a sequel.
  • Stalker with a Crush: PsychoSquid's girlfriend gave him that nickname when, after their break-up, he kept calling her and waiting at her door.
  • Stock Sound Effect: PsychoSquid uses the T.Rex roar from Jurassic Park.
  • The ScrappyInvoked: In-universe example. Rhubarb is considered the worst pet in the game. However, Rhubarb isn't really for the attention, he just hates when fish are at the bottom of the tank.
  • The Usual Adversaries: The aliens. They constantly warp into your tank with the sole purpose of eating/killing your fish, and don't stop coming until everything in the tank is dead. Most of them don't have a reason for why they're doing this beyond being evil space-aliens. Apparently, their rampage isn't a new thing, as they figure into the backstories of several of your pets.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Gash and Itchy used to be best friends, until the latter left him from dead. Gash swears to settle his score with Itchy.
  • Widget Series: Let's just say that there's a reason why it's called Insaniquarium.