I am one of those waiting impatiently for Plants vs. Zombies from the casual masterminds at PopCap to show up for the iPhone. It isn’t hard to understand that clones of great games surface in the App Store. Actually I am a bit surprised that there hasn’t been a Plans vs. Zombies clone available yet. But with Shark Attack we get our first true clone. And it copies every aspect of the famous gameplay without adding anything own. Actually Shark Attack feels like a really wet fish.
If you aren’t up to date with the Plants vs. Zombies gameplay it is a type of barricade defence where you place flowers to save your house from the zombie invasion. The game play area can be used to place the different flowers, and the zombies move in straight lines forcing you to defend the entire lawn. The difficulty lies in correctly distributing your power to maximise defence as well as new solar power that some flower generates. In Shark Attack both zombies and plants have been changed into sharks, seaweed and fish. Another change that actually affects the gameplay is that in Shark Attack you can place several units without having to wait while in Plants vs. Zombies it takes time to recharge a plant. This limits the strategic need to ponder about what to do next.
Shark Attack is an unpolished copy that lacks character, style and most of all fun. The graphics isn’t good, and having the game constantly displaying the loading circle is strange. I have a 3GS, and it is ample of power to run a game such as Shark Attack so it must be a design flaw to the game. Music and sounds aren’t too inspiring either. Not bad but a bit soulless, and thankfully you can play your own music while killing sharks.
Shark Attack comes with 40 increasingly hard levels, with a growing playing field and number of units to use. This gives you several hours of aquatic warfare. There is no information about the different units, and as you get to choose a limited number of units before each battle you can screw yourself quite well. It is possible to only choose passive units making it impossible to stop the enemy.
A lack of story, and reason to help these sad marine algae stops me from enjoying the game. The game tries to upload my high score after each level, but always fails further showing the unpolished state the game is in. And this is the 1.1 version so it must have been updated at least once.
It is not easy to create a great game, and evidentially so even if you have a great blueprint such as Plants vs. Zombies to copy. I can’t recommend this game even as a substitute while waiting for the original. It is at heart the same gameplay but packaged among rotting seaweed even a diamond might look unattractive.
Shark Attack $1.99
Seller: Javier Aznar de los Rios