Aug 24, 2010

Hungry Shark

Hungry Shark is a game that is almost therapeutic to me. I often criticize games in which I feel like there's little challenge such that the games can go on and on. That's somewhat true of this game if you stay close to the surface where food is plentiful, but yet it's such fun swimming around gobbling up other fish and the occasional swimmer. The feeling reminds me of the feeling I get in games where I'm charged with placing TNT and blowing up a building. It's such fun hitting the detonate button and seeing the structure topple.

Hungry Shark is a game that made the jump from the iPhone many moons ago and that has a simple premise. You are a shark with an insatiable appetite gobbling everything in sight. You use the accelerometer to guide your shark around and get a certain amount of boost to catch the fishies that try and swim away (activate by touching the screen anywhere). When you aren't busy eating you are gettting hungrier and hungrier until you either a) do eat again or b) die. While swimming and munching is fun I do realize that the thrill might wear off at some point. So there's more... there are lone swimmers, flocks of birds, ...etc to eat. The game is VERY cute as you gobble down a bird while the rest of the flock takes flight by displaying expressions such as (in this case) "in flight snack" and there's a lot of that going on while you play. But there's more... buried along the bottom are 10 treasures worth lots of points that you have to find. And as you dive there are other dangers. Some of the fish such as the jellyfish fight back and then there are mines to avoid.

The graphics rock and the audio is awesome. The underwater sounds playing throughout add so much to this game that other developers should take note of the ambiance that such fine audio introduces. The game has a 'work of art' feel to it even when you're gobbling down a swimmer, hear her scream, and see the water around her turn blood red. Ok, I'm getting sadistic, but even so it's so well down that it's just beautiful. And the controls feel good too. Easy twists and turns of your phone give you full control of your fish.

The game isn't complex. It doesn't, at all, give me that adrenaline rich feeling a fast paced shooter might, but instead feels very relaxing to play despite all of the 'death' in the game. But a shark has to eat, right? Plus it has that air of deep sea exploration although that's pretty light in this game. Now if only there was a way for me to eat that guy in the boat... he looks tasty (Edit: In the video they show that happening... I just have not been able to do it.). 5/5 stars for a game in which I would not change a thing.

Note: The screen shot and video are from the developer's website and are of the iPhone version, but represent the Android version of the game reasonably well.

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