The British developer FGOL knows how to make a big splash with their debut title Hungry Shark. Taking the gameplay of Ecco the Dolphin and turning it into a bloody munch fest for high scores brings us one of the best pick up and play game experiences on smartphones.
You play a hungry shark that gets dropped into a ocean full of food. Your goal is to eat as many things as possible, starting from all the fishes in the ocean to people that swim or stand on boats and 10 hidden treasures. But there are dangers in the ocean, Blowfish hurt you when you attack them while they are blown up, Jellyfish sting when you eat them, divers try to stab you and there are mines everywhere you swim. Thankfully our shark is strong and regenerates fast if you eat continuously. If you get hurt too often or don’t reach another edible thing in time you starve and can enter your high score in a global ranking list.
Let me just say it up front, I love Hungry Shark, I just downloaded it to give it a quick spin to review it, because it looked nice and I thought it would be a good filler, but as it turned out, it became one of my most played games.
The game lures you in at first with it’s nice graphics, if you have played Ecco the Dolphin on the Mega Drive, you will immediately think of it when you see a screen shot of the game. After you download and play it, it turns out to be a completely different gameplay experience and after the initial satisfaction of being the biggest fish in the sea you find a nice scoring mechanic coupled with a great map design, that will take hours to master.
But not everything is golden, the game forces you to play with tilt controls. while I usually hate this control mechanic, it works well with the swimming theme of the game, but I would really prefer a virtual d-pad or even trackball support, so I can play shamelessly in the subway. Also local high scores would be great, I think I’m the highest ranked German at the moment, but I’m not sure. It’s ok now, but when the game picks up sales as it did on the Iphone, it could get crowded. Also the game is pretty hard on your memory, it takes up 17,11 MB and doesn’t support Froyo’s Move to SD yet.
The game is available for £2.49 (2,90€), a second map was already launched for free on the Iphone, hopefully it’ll just be a matter of time, until we get the update with huge edible shoals, puzzle sections, and a Giant Crab to push our Shark skills to the limit.
As I said, I wanted to do a review of the game, but after playing it over and over again, I can give tips and show you all 10 treasures.
Collect the treasures first, your shark grows every 5000 Points until he reaches his max size at 60000, which will make it much harder to swim through the mines, that block some treasures.
Eat all the fishes in a fish swarm to raise your multiplier, they don’t give many points, but the bonus raises by the amount of fishes you eat.
Don’t eat the blob fish without a multiplier, they give 500 points which is the most you’ll get in the beginning
If you eat fishes of the same type in succession you get bonus points
If you eat every fish of a swarm you get a bonus, that includes penguins
You can jump out of the water to kick people out of their boat, but don’t bother with the ones that throw dynamite
When your shark is fully grown, submarines appear in the deep, ram them for 1500 points, combine that with the tuna and penguin swarms above for huge point boosts
The 10 treasures: