Games that are originally designed for mobile can rarely end up being fun on consoles. The joy of mobile gaming is mostly in short bursts of gameplay. Are you bored? Get your mobile out and play a short round in a game. This design just doesn’t fit well for consoles where you can expect to spend more time and not to mention the games released usually offer a better experience with complex gameplay mechanics. This doesn’t mean that a simple and short experience is not fun, but it all depends on the execution.
Hungry Shark World is a successor to Hungry Shark which launched as a mobile game. The sequel is also available on mobile but Ubisoft has released it on other major platforms as well. It is not a free-to-play game but available for $9.99 which is cheap enough, but is the game any fun to worth this price with the current competition of quality indie games?
Hungry Shark World mostly has a simple gameplay loop. You begin by controlling a shark that starts out from the beginning of one of the many available levels. Your goal is to feed the shark and each kill that you make will earn you a score. You can start a bonus chain by quickly chomping down on fishes or other creatures including humans. The faster you will kill them, the easier your score will grow. This is mostly a retread of the same old formula that mobile games tend to exploit.
The thing that spoils the game for me is the need to grind for progress. There is no main goal for each level and instead, a set of mundane objectives are given for each shark that you can control in the game. You can attempt to complete these objectives to get more experience points, gold coins and maybe unlock new species of sharks. The first shark that you control will control terribly and starts out rather small, but her size can increase by feeding her and gaining experience points to level up. Stats can also be boosted this way and they usually help you get a large score easily once you gain a higher level.
The game can quickly become tedious once you get stuck trying to fulfill the goals that mostly revolves around finding a set number of items or killing different species for a set amount of time. The lack of creativity here means you will try to do these boring tasks just to unlock further levels or more variety of sharks and then repeat the same with them. The progression system is terrible since it ties to completing these objectives. The gameplay is usually fun though, and when you are trying to keep a large score streak going, it can get addictive as well.
Shark customization is possible with items that you can buy with gold coins. They can also offer stat boosts that can make the game less frustrating but these items are all purchased with gold coins, so they need their own grind to earn them. To give the game some credit, the variety of sharks offered here is pretty decent. Each shark controls differently and can use their abilities to kill a specific set of enemies or unlock more areas for a level. It is fun to unlock a new shark and level it up to improve their stats.
Visually, the art style is rather bland. The humans look terrible although the background and levels are nicely animated. It still looks like a mobile game with pretty visuals. Replay value depends on how much patience you have to unlock everything, but it is possible that you will get bored before unlocking most of the content.
Hungry Shark World Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: The stunning sequel to Hungry Shark™ Evolution is here! The Sharks are back, and this time they are taking on the entire WORLD!
As a mobile game, the gameplay design here just doesn't work as well for consoles. There is a lot to grind just to progress and unlock more levels or the different variety of sharks which is ultimately its biggest weakness.