Shark Dash is a new title from Gameloft, and it’s not based on some kind of console franchise? It’s actually an original concept, and not an emulation of some kind? Huh. Well, the originality of the title can be debated, as it definitely has inspirations in other physics based puzzlers, using the same kind of arcing and flinging catapult gameplay of Angry Birds and the rest. Still, it’s a very creative title with amusing, colorful visuals and top notch production values.
The opening of this game was honestly very disturbing to me. A bunch of sharks are just minding their own business and hanging out, when a veritable fleet of rubber duckies just swoop in completely unprovoked and abducts several of the sharks. This sets the stage for the revenge-based, duck eating levels that you’ll now guide the remaining sharks through.
The game controls much like Saving Yello, with you stretching and flinging sharks around by pulling on their tails. Your goal is simply to eat every duck in a level, though you’ll also be rated on the amount of moves you take, and whether you collect every coin. The game's mechanics, which include heavy bars of soap to dissolving bath salts, are clever and fun. Eventually, you’ll move to different bathtubs in different regions, with each new area introducing a new type of shark, including the saw snouted shark that cuts chains and the hammer-headed shark with crazy mad hops.
The game has nice charming visuals and music, and is a great take on the “physics-based puzzler featuring cute creatures” formula. It’s very easy to beat, but very hard to get perfect scores and complete, making it great for kids and adults alike. Seeing the kinds of things the developers at Gameloft are capable of when emulating pre-existing games as well as this game, I’d love to see what they come up with if they full unleash their creativity. For now, this is a great place to start. Shark Dash is available for one dollar at the time of this review.