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Shark Dash Review

By , on April 19, 2012


Shark Dash
  • Publisher: Gameloft
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: 19 Apr, 2012
  • Size: 33.6 MB
  • Price: $0.99
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Beautiful visual design; 3D with interactive elements.
  • Clever puzzle designs; subtle changes in your approach are the difference between a 1 and a 3 star attempt.
  • Optional IAP; can be used to unlock 'upgraded' characters or the ability to 'rewind' the last move you made.

CONS

  • 'Missions' little more than rewards for repeated actions.
  • Usual concerns with physics-based games; aiming line helps to smooth things out, but still subject to random outcomes.

VERDICT

If you've finished the last cute-physics-3-star title to grace your iOS device, make Shark Dash your next purchase; if nothing else, it's worth it for the adorable presentation and cunningly designed levels that keep you coming back for more.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
  •  

After first learning about Shark Dash, one thought pinged around my mind, 'I wonder who developed this game for Chillingo/Clickgamer'... after a double-take I realized I was dealing with a Gameloft title and my world promptly fell on its head. All of this may sound melodramatic, but gamers have long come to terms with the App Store's cliches, though if Shark Dash proves anything it's that Gameloft has the chops to produce fresh and addictive games.

You should know the basic formula by now - three stars, cute characters, physics based world with a flick/catapult control system. Shark Dash's spin on things puts you in control of a variety of sharks, each sporting a unique ability ranging from cutting chains to scuba-diving. Your goal is to eat all of the Raving Rabbid-like duckies that have invaded your home turf (various baths from around the world), triggering complex Rube-Goldberg-like sequences to get a perfect score.

Stars are tied to specific requirements, with the first star awarded for completing a level (destroying all the duckies), while the second and third require you to stick to a minimum amount of flicks and collecting all the coins respectively. Of course these stars are used to unlock levels, but replaying a level is almost never dull as the act of bouncing around your shark is fun and amusing all on its own.

You see, each stage features a variety of tunnels, explosives, and a number of other ways to manipulate the environment. In order to get the best score you'll need to set up a precise chain of events that will have your shark bouncing back and forth, squeaking and chomping as he goes. Better still, later levels will introduce the use of multiple sharks, adding a further risk of ending the stage too early if your solution places one of them in danger.

One thing that has rarely been in question is the visual presentation of Gameloft's games and this is no exception with the game featuring small touches that breathe life in to its world. Moving your iDevice will change the perspective slightly, emphasizing its clean 3D design, while shaking the device will create waves (and cause the characters to react in an amusing way). It's touches like this that show the strength of the iOS device as an interactive platform.

Shark Dash is a much needed breath of fresh air from a developer/publisher that has spent much of the last year dabbling in rehashed freemium titles. It's still sitting firmly within what could be called the 'safe zone' of a popular genre, but its complexity and charming presentation make it a fun way to spend your afternoon. With any luck we'll see more games like this from Gameloft in the future.

Screenshots

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Comments

Avatar
Yorker 5 months ago

It's a shame that Appspy doesn't informed me when that game was free(5 January to 8 January