Shark or die - not much of choice, is it? In fact, you’d have to assume that opting for shark would mean certain death anyway.
Unless we’re talking about menu choices, in which case I’d definitely go for shark. It’s not exactly a sustainable food source, but hey – it’s them or me.
Unlike that intro, HandyGames’s eat ‘em up is a focused, single-minded experience. You’re a shark. You eat people. You grow stronger so that you can eat more people.Basking in glory
It’s all viewed from a bottom-of-the-sea-looking-up perspective, with our man-eating friend swimming about near the camera, and a bunch of hapless swimmers and divers splashing about in the background. Once you’ve tapped on the screen, it’s munch time.
Eating each swimmer is a simple case of tapping on them, at which point sharky will hurtle towards them (and away from you), leaving a gruesome red cloud in its wake. While there’s nothing to threaten you as you gorge yourself, your chief enemy is formidable indeed – hunger.
Leave it too long between micro-meals and your shark will become some other fish's food. As such, you need to plot a course in between swimmers so that you get a nice consistent intake of grub, pausing when your belly meter shows as full to avoid wastage.
You also need to ensure that there’s plenty of food left in the sea by carefully stalking your pray. Causing too much of a commotion by attacking head on, allowing your prey to call out, or disturbing the buoys littered around will sound out the alarm. At this point, your lunch will begin swimming for the nearest boat.Mako or break
Unlike the subject of Shark or Die, the game doesn’t offer an awful lot of meat for you to chow down on. It’s as brutally simple as it sounds, with one level indistinguishable from the next, except for an increase in smarter and quicker swimmers.
There is a sense of progression in the game’s RPG-lite customisation element, whereby you can increase your shark’s speed, blood rage duration, and hunger endurance, but this doesn’t materially alter the gameplay in any way. Similarly, the choice of four shark types prior to each game (bigger belly, stealthier, etc) doesn’t change the way you approach the game.
Ultimately – and rather surprisingly, given the subject matter – Shark or Die swims through its limitations thanks to its charm. It’s got oodles of the stuff, as seen in its attractive cartoony graphics and the daftly named VIPs (like Sharkille O’Neal) that get you extra points.
In contrast to the cold-hearted killer it lets you control, Shark or Die reels you in with its winning personality.