What’s it all about?
Hungry Shark is doing rather well on the iPhone App Store. With Episode 1 being free, and just 99 cents being asked for the second episode, it is easy to see why so many people have taken the time to check it out. The game is a new take on an age-old game design. You are a fish that must eat other, smaller fish to survive, and then level up.
Many people who play Hungry Shark may not realize the history behind its very simple game concept, but rest assured, people have been playing versions of it since the Atari 2600. Still, it’s not a formula that you see very often, and it really only needs to be re-released every once in a while.
When you start Hungry Shark you’ll likely spend most of the time chomping on small fish and other ocean-going creatures. After a while you’ll find humans and even larger prey to nibble on. The game is controlled with the tilt sensor of the iPhone. You can tilt it all 360 degrees and the steeper your tilt, the faster your shark will move. If that’s not enough, you have a boost meter that slowly recharges to give you yet more assistance in running down faster foes.
Once you’ve eaten enough of the ocean life in one area, and finished doing whatever you feel like doing, you’ll gain access to other areas with different geography, prey and enemies. This progression is really the only thing that makes Hungry Shark stand above other versions of the formula.
Graphics, Audio and Verdict
Hungry Shark has a very light-hearted graphical style, and you’ll realize that as soon as you see the title screen for the first time. Your character, the titular Hungry Shark, is somewhat deformed, with a massive head and huge row of teeth paired with a rather tiny backend. He’ll jet around the screen in a puff of boost bubbles and chomp on foes in a bloody fury. There are pleasant details and a good amount of high-quality animations to be found. The game runs super smooth for the most part, with the only real hitch being that it is sometimes hard to make a quick turn in times of struggle.
Hungry Shark doesn’t have much of a soundtrack, and the only background you’ll be hearing during gameplay is the bubbling of the ocean and the occasional blood-curdling human scream. This is probably for the best, as a repetitive soundtrack would probably get a bit annoying after a while. Again, like many iPhone games, the audio isn’t bad, but there just isn’t a whole lot of it.
Overall, it’s hard to say whether paying the full price for both episodes is a good bet or not. Luckily, there is a free version with a full episode for you to try. Episode 2 is very much more of the same, but there are some nice touches. If you are absolutely in love with the free episode, you’ll be pleased with number two, but others won’t have much reason to take another dip in the ocean.