I believe there hasn’t been any official reviews for Shark Eaters: Rise of the Dolphins just yet and that would only mean that I would be the very first to write one, right? It’s like stepping on a snowy path that doesn’t have any preceding footsteps. Quite nice.
Anyway, as the conventional process of reviewing goes, I feel like Shark Eaters by Kat McNally must be delicately, if not gingerly, examined.
First reason for it is because it doesn’t have a prescribed genre and second reason for it being the fact that its so darn charming. It’s Disney’s Little Mermaid combined with elements from dogfighting games. The developers have taken a simplistic concept but amped it up a notch to deliver some seriously vigorous gaming experience.
Seemingly jovial and juvenile at first glimpse, players will dive straight into the game without much hesitation – only to be struck harshly in the nose. Players will be constantly battered by agile fish of all sorts, including a myriad of sharks. Do not worry about the unrelenting difficulty level in this game as the difficulty level can be stratified into steps. The first being getting accustomed to the controls. This will take some time to master but once you do, it will become acutely intuitive. You won’t control the sea creature, you will become it.
I must say, the AI in Shark Eaters does not belong to this universe. Perhaps it’s because not many have attempted to put a good amount of time and effort to reproduce the very movements of marine animals. It’s as if the opponents in the game are actual marine animals that attack and react to your movements based on their own instinctual tendencies. I recall a time muttering about how the enemy AI would dodge my strikes and swim away but moments later how I would find him wandering around the vicinity to try his luck at taking a nip at my tail. This was during one of my many quarrels with the hammer shark (please do not spare him for I think he reproduces at an astonishing rate).
There are three types of dolphins you could possibly play as (from a minute research of orcas, I learnt that orcas are from the dolphin family, making the name killer whale, a misnomer). There is Bandit the common dolphin, Simon the Commerson’s dolphin, and Zoey (my personal favourite) the great killer whale or orca. Each of them flaunt their own characteristic traits, ranging from increased stamina and speed to health. Moreover, each of them sport their own dolphin acoustics which I found to be an apt remedy for enduring what I like to call the nordic gloom of Canadian weather. Future updates will bring more dolphins, including the Hector’s dolphin, a near-extinct species in the aquatic milieu.
Here’s the verdict. A great addition to your Koi pond, Shark Eaters: Rise of the Dolphins have the assets of what constitutes a concrete game of hardcore challenge and pure delight.