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Video Game / Insaniquarium

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Feed fish and fight aliens!

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.
  • Alliterative Name: Some of the pets have alliterative names, like Stinky the Snail, Meryl the Mermaid, Angie the Angelfish and Stanley the Startlingly Small Sea-Serpent.
  • Alluring Anglerfish: Downplayed, as while Gumbo the anglerfish attracts all the guppies with his lure, it is only to lead them away from their alien predators.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: Gumbo the anglerfish is described as "he" despite having female-specific characteristics such as size and shape.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Because all of the pets are roughly the same size, some pets can be really small compared to the animal they're based on, like Wadsworth the Whale and Brinkley the Elephant. Lampshaded with Stanley the Startlingly Small Sea-Serpent.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The hunger timer will pause during an alien attack, so you won't have to worry about fish starving while you can't feed them.
    • You have to click on Amp multiple times before he'll actually shock your fish. That way, if you accidentally click on him while feeding fish or collecting coins, you're not immediately screwed over.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Gumbo is a deep-sea anglerfish (illuminated esca rather than one which looks like a worm) and could not survive anywhere near the surface, much less in an aquarium. Also, the bioluminescence of a deep-sea anglerfish's esca is due to bacteria; it cannot be switched on or off.
  • Back from the Dead: The basis of Angie the Angelfish's powers.
  • Big Bad: Cyrax
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Gumbo the anglerfish, or at any rate his — er, her esca.
  • 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 sports an adorable one.
  • Catching Some Z's: Walter the Penguin will do that after using his ability several times.
  • Clamshell Currency: The Fish Emporium from the Virtual Tank uses seashells instead of the regular dollars used everywhere else in the game and provides the trope's image. Fittingly, the fishes in this mode drop seashells instead of coins and diamonds.
  • 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.
  • Death by Gluttony: Gus is an alien then is immune to lasers. Thankfully, he loves to eat! Enough to gobble all the food the player gives him. Until he explodes.
  • 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. They were actually once friends but Itchy abandoned Gash. As a result, Gash became a tweener at most.
  • Enemy Summoner: The final boss, Cyrax, can summon all the other aliens during its fight.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Walter the Penguin is the last bonus pet of the game. His power? Making fishes drop money and other pets use their powers by punching them... with a boxing glove that is hidden in his mouth!!!
  • Explosive Breeder: Prego the Momma Fish gives birth to a new guppy approximatively every minute. And the Breeders from Tank 4 are just the same.
  • Extendo Boxing Glove: Walter the Penguin has a Red Boxing Glove inside his mouth. He uses it to punch fishes and pets, and doing this causes the targets to use their abilities (a fish will from coins, Shrapnel will drop a bomb, etc).
  • Fish out of Water: Inverted. Brinkley is an elephant who lives in water, wearing a snorkel mask.
  • 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.
  • Gag Nose: Nostradamus, one of the bonus pets, is a disembodied nose with fins. Which can sneeze to postpone alien attacks. And also drops 1$-worth snots.
  • Gravity Master: Seymour the Turtle slows down the fall of coins and food in your tank, allowing pets and fish to collect them more easily.
  • Hit Points: The aliens' hit points can be seen when Blip is in the tank.
  • Immune to Bullets: Gus is the only alien that can't be hurt by lasers at all (except during the final fight).
  • Interface Spoiler: One alien attack in 4-4 will be heralded with "Fourteen Alien Signatures Detected", before switching to "Just kidding. Only two." However, if you have Blip, you'll only see two indicators, ruining the joke.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Presto the Tadpole can be right-clicked to make him metamorph into any of the other pets you have.
  • Konami Code: Used to unlock Sandbox Mode.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different
    • Meryl is a former well-known pop star; when she sings, the fish briefly drop more coins.
    • Balrog is a hostile alien merman who attacks you along with other aliens.
  • Mook Chivalry: 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.
  • Octopoid Aliens: The Psychosquid takes this trope rather literally: it is a red alien that looks almost exactly like an octopus, only with less tentacles and more weapons.
  • Perplexing Pearl Production: Niko the oyster creates a pearl every few minutes. Each one yields a lot of money.
  • 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.
  • Psycho Electric Eel: Amp is a pet electric eel which can zap all the guppies in a tank in order to turn them all into diamonds.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Many, but especially the adorable Star Catchers.
  • 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.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: Blip the Porpoise has very high intellect and incredible psychic powers.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Solid Gold Poop: The various fishes "produce" a wide range of valuables, including coins, pearls, diamonds and treasure chests.
  • 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.
  • Swallowed Whole: Wadsworth the Whale does this to your smaller fishes to protect them during alien attacks.
  • Swordfish Sabre: Itchy the Swordfish attacks the aliens by repeatedly spearing them with his rostrum.
  • Tentacled Terror: Psychosquid, which is, as its name doesn't imply, an octopus. Well, an evil, fish-devouring alien octopus wielding a flyswtter, a pitchfork and a meat cleaver simultaneously.
  • Threatening Shark: Gash zig-zags this trope. On the one hand, he helps you defeating aliens, and quite effectively at that. On the other, he still has no qualms eating your guppies regardless of their size or status. Yes, he can devour your precious royal guppies, too.
  • 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 for 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.


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