Aquaphone, the cellphone game that has already been downloaded by more than 1-million people, is now available for free download in South Africa.
The virtual aquarium game engages users in managing a miniature ecosystem, with behaviour modeled on the real world. The aquarium's fish – which can be individually named – sicken and die if not fed enough, if their tank isn't cleaned or if oxygen levels drop.
"It's a hugely compelling game with gorgeous graphics and animation," says Russel Stromin of Strike Media, which has exclusive rights to distribute the game in South Africa. "There are coral reef and deep ocean versions as well as a shark version, for those who prefer a little more drama."
The game is often described as an online version of Tamagotchi, the "digital pet" that took the world by storm in the mid-1990s and is currently in its 44th version.
The game is free to download and play, but to enhance your aquarium, players may need to purchase credits via SMS. The credits can use to buy fish, feed them, and upgrade their aquaria with plants and toys.
The game, developed by Russian company Dynamic Pixels, has so far been downloaded by nearly 1.5m people around the world. Online scoreboards enable players to keep track of their performance against the competition.
Strike Media are supplementing the game with a Facebook Community and providing prizes for South Africa players who top the leaderboard and introduce the game to their friends.
The current top international scorer, a Taiwanese player known only as "aba", is currently leading their closest rival – a Russian, "sportmen" by over 8 000 points.