Sharks are one of the ocean's toughest predators. They're the bane of seafarers and divers alike but that doesn't mean they're not as deadly for casual beach goers. Several movies have already shown these toothy creatures in their absolute worst, chomping on unwitting people just wanting to have a good time. While it's certainly no fun worrying about the gruesome scenes they depict on the big screen, playing as the big, bad predator is great fun. If you've ever wondered how it would be to go on a rampage in New York City, New York Shark is the way to do it.
As you might have guessed, your goal in New York Shark is to eat as much as you can. Your virtual buffet choices include humans, cattle and other sea life such as the occasional octopus. Because you are in the Big Apple, you will be able to eat in style with a cool baseball cap and some swanky shades. Ready to bring about a sharkpocalypse? Master the controls to dive and jump as accurately as you can through 154 miles of mayhem. Don't worry, they're intuitive and simple to learn. Move your shark using the arrow keys and bite things by either pressing A or the CTRL key. You can bite while swimming of in midair. To jump high enough to reach planes, you'll need to dive deep and press up immediately after reaching the bottom of the ocean.
Speaking of planes, you will encounter quite a number of them throughout the game. Time your jumps just right and you'll be able to reach them and tug them down to the ground by rapidly tapping on the down arrow key. Once they've crashed, you'll get an impressive chunk of points and a satisfying explosion.
New York Shark's arcade action game play is meant to be played in short bursts. There's no grinding, planning or waiting around here. Once you've started chomping on your victims, it will be a mad dash to the finish line. Cover all 154 miles and you'll be able to see how you stack up to your previous runs. It's the perfect 5-minute game, with enough explosive excitement packed in a single round even for adrenaline junkies. There's also plenty of sights to see, with thematic landmarks such as the New York Stadium and the Statue of Liberty. You could wreak havoc on both, by the way. Want a higher score? Catch baseballs and hope for some luck to win at the Lucky Shark slots for even more points.
Not everything is within easy reach, however. If you want to reach more treats for your shark, you'll have to know when to jump so you can land on boats and reach cargo containers efficiently. Keep in mind that the shark moves on its own so you won't have enough time to scope the area for your next meal. Again, this all boils down to timing. Keep an eye on the icons that appear on the screen to know whenever something is just asking to be pulled form the sky.
The cartoony visuals for New York Shark are spot on. The zany, colorful world keeps the action going with a feast for the eyes. It also helps that the developer has a wicked sense of humor. Cause the Hindenburg to crash, bite King Kong's head off within the time limit and put a stop to Osama Bin Laden's plans. Are you a Ghostbuster's fan? Even the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man makes an appearance here. After all, the team is located in New York.
New York Shark is a work of genius. Manus Island crammed every Big Apple reference it could without reaching cheesy territory. The controls are simple and responsive, giving life to the ravenous shark by keeping everything at a fast pace. From Hungry Shark Evolution to Goat Simulator, we've played our share of games in the genre but none of them are this satisfying to play in such a short amount of time. Perhaps the only thing that could have used some improvement is the lack of randomly triggered events. We understand, the predictability of prey here helps completionists improve their scores but the average player could benefit from a few more surprises. To keep the core game the same, there could be different modes to choose from. A leaderboard or a list of collectibles could extend the game's replayability as well.
If you're a sucker for all things New York, a shark lover or are just looking for some relaxing mayhem, this game is definitely for you. Play New York Shark during breaks or play it non-stop to get the best score -- you'll surely have a blast.