Thursday, 29 January 2015

Sharknado: The Game - iOS


Pay to not play as much.


While I'm a fan of the "Forever Runner" series of games, made more popular and famous by the game Canabalt, it's not really the first game to do that kind of approach. Having played a lot of arcade games, the first ones were along the lines of trying to keep going for as long as possible to get the highest score possible, it seems the Forever Runner games are taking that quick, pick-up-and-play approach to instant gaming, further helped by titles like Flappy Birds for the side-scrolling variety of play and then there's the 3D versions with games like Temple Run and now, Sharknado: The Game.


Play from the start or spend chum in boosting to level 2, 5 and 9 respectively.
From the off, we're establishing that this is the game, not the film on which the game is based, and as such we don't get to see Tara Reid trying to avoid sharks by screaming loudly and being all breasty about it. Neither do we see a multitude of people having their heads taken off by projectile sharks launched from the circulation and upward draft of high speed air currents. What we do get however is a Forever Runner game where we try to avoid obstacles, attack sharks, go surfing and ultimately kill a tornado while riding a shark and carrying a chainsaw.

So at least some of the original film's artistic license with physics, remains.

Get coin, avoid shark, pick up Razzie.

The controls are simple enough, swipe left and right to change your "lane" as you travel into the screen, rather than tilting it, so it's more keeping in line with the Despicable Me: Minions game, while swiping up will make our hero jump and swiping down will make our hero slide. However, each round of the game is split into three sections. The first involves running down a street towards the Sharknado while avoiding barricades, vehicles and various sharks, the second has our hero surfing up a torrent of water while sharks swim towards him and lastly the final section is our hero riding a shark, while holding a chainsaw, surfing it THROUGH the Sharknado itself while cutting up enough sharks to kill the entire Sharknado.

And then it's back to the start but harder and faster.

Tyre Iron does some damage.

For the sheer audacity alone, it's funny the first few times. After that it becomes par for the course and we get to focus on the other mechanics behind the game. Coins, weapons and chum. Coins are often found amongst the level and usually in places where you have to negotiate around some risky little problems but all coins that are collected are stored and can be spent on things like the weapons. The weapons allow our hero to basically be immune to sharks (and nothing else...) in that he clobbers the shark into a bloody pulp and the weapon weakens a little each time. Once it's used up, the sharks must be dodged again. It does give you a little breathing space however. Lastly there's the chum, which lets you retry levels without restarting and can also boost your starting level to a later one. Chum being earned by killing lots of sharks and each successful defeat of a Sharknado multiplies up the score.

The "Boss" so to speak, killing it from the inside.

It can be a fun forever runner if you want to try it out, the music and audio are clearly tongue in cheek when the starting lyrics for the 2nd round are "Go go go go, Sharknado, runaway from the Sharknado" and sung in a rather kitschy style, you can't help but chuckle at the game. But then perhaps that's the problem, we're more laughing at the game and its source material than laughing with the game despite that the game is clearly making fun of the films, it's falling short of being enjoyable in the long term. But, it's worth giving it a try if only to see yourself killing a tornado full of sharks with a chainsaw.