The Shark or Die free iPhone game takes an interesting concept and slams it into a reef by hiding nearly any redeeming features behind pay walls.
Would you like to upgrade your shark with an RPG-esque point system? Perhaps you just want a little more gore? Well you’ll have to buy one of the three $1 packs for any of those features. The Shark Pack gives the game depth, the Blood Pack gives it some gore, and the Meat Pack, apparently un-ironically, provides the game with more meat in the form of additional scenarios.
Without those packs, you’re left with the shell of a free game that shouldn’t really have been released like this. You play as a shark who must eat swimming humans to stay alive. The game plays in a top-down perspective that allows you to see the entire ocean at your disposal, but all this does it make your shark feel slow. It takes too long for your shark to mosey across the screen and there’s nothing much you can do about it.
Eating your prey, too, is rather boring. You tap anywhere on the screen to move to that spot, so eating mostly means tapping on top of a person and watching your shark swim over and eat them -- rinse and repeat. The tiny bit of strategy in Shark or Die comes when you have to make a judgment call as to which of the people you’re after will escape to safety quicker, so you can eat the correct one first and have time to eat them both.
It is about as interesting as it sounds, which is a shame because it has a good, cartoony look to it; if those bonus packs were mandatory, there might be a reason to keep playing the game. As it is, there isn’t a very compelling one.