Something fishy

Steer clear of this poorly designed screensaver.

There are a lot of fish-related screensavers out there, and we tend to like them; they're generally calming and nice to look at. So we were rather taken aback when we launched Aquarium Fantasia Screensaver, which may be the ugliest screensaver we've ever encountered. It's impressive, but for all the wrong reasons.

Frankly, Aquarium Fantasia Screensaver looks like the final project of someone taking--and failing--an introductory interactive design course. Where do we even begin? What we suppose is meant to be sand in the bottom of the aquarium looks more like beige Berber carpet. The "stones" on top of the sand are perfectly formed ovals with a bit of shading, interspersed with strange splotches of brown that look like they were literally cut out--by a kindergartener--of some other image. The plant life in the aquarium consists of bizarre brightly colored wads of vaguely leafy stuff. And then there are the fish. There is at least a bit of variety, with five different species represented. But the choppy motion with which they move across the screen is decidedly unfishlike, and was in fact the aspect of this program that finally made us start laughing out loud at how bad it is. The program also lacks any settings and does not have any sounds, which are often one of the best things about aquarium-themed screensavers. If you're looking to add something aquatic to your desktop, there are many better options than Aquarium Fantasia Screensaver.

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