Those familiar with the PC gaming scene should be aware of the dozens of Blank Simulator games that have been flooding the market, most of them of questionable quality. Despite their negative reputation, I would like to suggest that Hungry Shark World should change its name to Jaws Simulator or Human Taste-Testing Simulator. After playing it for a while, I feel that it’s a more appropriate name for the game. Am I implying that the quality of Hungry Shark World is as terrible as the aforementioned simulator games? Well, let’s dive in to find out.
While taking a break from Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft Entertainment decided to put out Hungry Shark World, an Android action game centered around a bunch of sharks that would give Bruce from Jaws a run (or swim?) for his money. If it’s alive, Hungry Shark will want to eat it. And by “eat,” I mean “funnel into its spiky throat.” Seriously, if humans ate like Hungry Shark does, they would be dead in six seconds. However, in this game, the humans are dead within six seconds either way. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but humans were my favorite targets to hunt down, mostly because they struggle and try to escape. Of course, if they escape, you can just catch them again. Unfortunately, none of the other sea life gives you the same predatory thrill.
Aside from humans, you’ll spend most of your time in Hungry Shark World chasing fish, jellyfish, smaller sharks, etc., and then eating them alive. The goal of the game is to do this until time is up. If you don’t keep eating, Hungry Shark will get hungry, start to starve, and eventually die. To help you keep chomping on your prey, the game gives you a boost button to increase your speed. While you’re eating a human, the boost button will make the Hungry Shark much more aggressive in his attempt to devour them before they can escape. The sight of a shark annihilating a human like a dog with a chew toy is surprisingly brutal for a free mobile game that anyone can download, not that I have a problem with it.
I’m actually a fan of how the amount of effort that the shark has to put in is proportional to the size of the prey. For example, the little fish are easily gulped down with no extra effort while the humans and larger fish require Hungry Shark to squirm and go all out to fit them inside his mouth. The visual feedback of the shark’s struggle gives you a sense of accomplishment, especially if you’re sadistic. When you swallow three people in a row in Hungry Shark World, you’re going to feel great.
Unfortunately, the fun gameplay is bogged down by the usual tropes of mobile gaming. More often, there’s no need to spend real money on in-game currency to have fun in free-to-play titles, but it takes an absurd amount of time to level up in Hungry Shark World. Don’t be surprised if it takes you half an hour to unlock the next shark. You can only reenact Jaws so many times before hearing the anguished screams of helpless victims gets old. If you’re in for some repetitive chowdowns, go for it. If not, there are better Android action games.
Incredible concept, but the poorly-executed progression system bogs it down.