The first time I dabbled in PC gaming, it wasn’t really something I took that seriously. My main outlets for gaming were my retro systems and my console collection and the only real use I had for the PC was a creative tool. But after downloading a few trial versions of games from Reflexive Arcade, I started playing a few casual games on my laptop. Nothing too major, but they were fun timewasters and I guess it helped that they were affordable enough that we were able to buy copies for both myself and my wife to own at the same time.
One of the games I picked up around that time was Feeding Frenzy. A simple title that put you in control of a fish that went around tasked with eating other fish and undersea creatures smaller than itself, growing in size the more it ate. Uncomplicated fun and strangely addictive. It ultimately ended up on a range of consoles as well as the PC and while the original isn’t available anymore, Feeding Frenzy 2 can still be picked up for the PC via Steam and it’s worth checking out.
There Are Angry Sharks In The Water…
Then along came Angry Sharks… In Feeding Frenzy, as well as eating as many fish as you could, you had to avoid sharks as the deadly predators were one of the ways you could lose one of your precious lives. Angry Sharks, a free online game inspired by the classic, turns things on its head and puts you in control of the misunderstood underwater beasts.
Being a free web based game, it’s not as large as the commercial release but there’s still a decent amount of gameplay in here to keep your attention for a reasonable amount of time. Spanning five stages, the basic gameplay differs slightly from Feeding Frenzy. Instead of feeding on fish smaller than you, you have to eat as many fish as possible, while avoiding obstables in the water. The scenery scrolls continually and unlike Feeding Frenzy, the fish in Angry Sharks try their best to swim away from you to get away from your deadly jaws (sorry, couldn’t resist that one!).
It’s not just a case of grabbing yourself a tasty fish supper in the game though. There are several things you need to look out for as you play. On the sea bed are radioactive waste cannisters – get too close to these for too long and your health will drop. These will also leak radioactive bubbles into the water and contact with these will also drain your health. Collisions with blowfish will do the same, along with hazards dropped from boats in later levels such as depth charges.
You can replenish your health by looking for fish that have a heart on them. You only have a fixed amount of health though and once that’s gone it’s game over. I have to say that it’s nice to see a subtle environmental message in a game, even if it’s not a major part of it.
That’s A Big Fish!
To complete a level, you need to eat a certain amount of fish. Depending on the size of fish you eat, they are worth a different amount towards the level goal. A meter fills on screen and once completed, your shark evolves into a bigger, more powerful fish with more health and you progress to the next stage.
After the first level you’ll have to encounter end of level bosses – boats manned by angry humans out to kill you, throwing all manner of objects into the water. I’ll be honest and say that this was the only thing I was concerned about here as one of the bosses was depicted in what could be best described in a racially stereotypical manner. It wasn’t needed and could have been handled better and is really a blip on what’s a genuinely fun and entertaining game.
Generally this is a fun and entertaining game and with checkpoints spread through the levels and a chance to play them in whatever order you want once you’ve unlocked each shark there’s plenty of replay value. Controls are easy enough using the mouse or touch screen on a phone or tablet, although it’s not really one for laptop owners using a mousepad as it’s not the most responsive way to play it.
However, if you ever enjoyed Feeding Frenzy and you’re looking for another fix then Angry Sharks is well worth checking out.