Have you ever wanted to take on the role of a shark, become the King of the ocean and the world’s deadliest predator? Nah, neither have I, but it sounds kinda cool thinking about it. Developers “Future Games of London” give us this opportunity with their game Hungry Shark, which is currently priced at $1.99.
Hungry Shark has you controlling a shark, which as the title suggests, is hungry, and therefore you must scour the ocean in search of food to eat in order to stay alive. You must supply your shark with a constant flow of food and ensure that your ever-decreasing health bar doesn’t completely deplete, otherwise you’ll be sleeping with the fishes instead of eating them. You move your shark via tilting your iPhone in the direction you wish the shark to travel. Tapping or holding the screen with your finger will provide a speed boost to your shark which is vital when trying to catch quick fish which will swim away when they see you approaching. However, you also have a boost bar which depletes when used and you’ll have to wait a short time for your boost to regenerate, therefore choosing the optimum time to boost is also important to stay alive.
The accelerometer is used very well in the game and the shark seems very easy to control. You won’t find the shark getting glitched on every single surface and instead he swims across the screen with ease, and this allows you to concentrate on hunting down your prey. You will however, have to calibrate your device every time you boot the game up, and this is done simply by holding the device in a comfortable position for a few seconds. I personally didn’t find this to be a hindrance and it certainly didn’t detract from the enjoyability of the game, but I imagine some people are more picky than myself.
Eating prey in Hungry Shark will slowly increase the size of your shark aswell as your health bar. You get awarded points for eating enemies, with fewer points being given for lesser filling (smaller) fish and the big, tasty rewards coming when you gobble up a helpless human or the larger fish roaming around. The size and appearance of your shark increases everytime you rank up a level and this is done by reaching certain point margins. Hungry Shark is in essence a high score game where you can upload your tally to the global leaderboards and therefore you’ll want to aim for the bigger prizes.
The bigger fish and tasty scuba-divers which reward you with more points when eaten are generally located deeper in the ocean which means you’ll have to go hunting for them. The gaming area is surprisingly large with many dangerous caves to explore. The deeper you dare to swim, the more hazardous your life will become as the fish you find will be more than willing to attack you and defend themselves. Everytime you take a hit, your health bar will significantly decrease, making your hunt for food more desperate in order to refill your health bar and remain the King of the waters. You will also face danger near the shore, having to avoid the likes of floating mines, swordfish, puffer fish and even jellyfish which will all damage you if hit.
The gameplay in Hungry Shark is addictive and you’ll find yourself coming back for more on regular occasions. My one criticism of the game is that each game can last well beyond the ten minute mark if you’re doing well and therefore the Hungry Shark doesn’t fit into the “pick up and play” category like many other games due to the sheer amount of time you’ll have to spend with the game each time you decide to play it. This isn’t necessary a bad thing, but it does devoid the game from being a quick boredom breaker.
I must say that Hungry Shark is a great looking game, with the shark you control in particular looking fantastic. The bubbles produced when you boost and the animation of the mouth movement and chewing of your prey are excellent; and of course the blood that you’ll leave in your path is a welcomed addition to make the game fun and more realistic. The jaws-esque soundtrack provides the game with a good atmosphere and the ripples of the water and crunching of fish bones ensure the game has good sound effects to go along with the brilliant visuals.
Hungry Shark is a fun, addictive game that will keep you coming back for more under-sea hunting. The current $1.99 price tag seems very reasonable due to the amount of time you will likely spend with the game and therefore I recommend giving Hungry Shark a try.