Anyone in the mood for a swim at one of the beaches of Amity Island? Well you’d better be prepared to swim pretty fast, considering it’s the hunting ground for the most infamous and legendary Great White shark we’ve all come to know as JAWS..
Yeah still got a bite to it after all these years! The menacing Great White surfaces yet again to cause absolute terror at Amity Island, based on the 1975 movie that made a generation question how much they really needed to go for a swim at a beach.. anywhere!
So now we have a cool little game out for the iPhone, that lets you re-live the whole Jaws attack experience, if that kind of thing floats your boat. Nevertheless there is a certain appeal to it. You play as the local police chief Brody, and your objective is to protect all of Amity’s swimmers. The game is viewed from a “birds eye” view so you have full scope of the area, and this really comes in handy for spotting and dealing with Jaws. All you have to do is lead the swimmers to safety and out of the path of Jaws, and you do this by simply dragging the swimmers in the direction you want them to go. Jaws will unwittingly try to pick off as many swimmers as he can. Unfortunately you will not be able to save everyone, as they are all scattered around and doing different things. The shark meter at the bottom indicates if he is about to attack when the fin on the right turns red meaning danger etc. If it all gets a bit too much, you can pause at any time by clicking the icon at the top right, which will offer you another set of options.
The levels vary, as do the objectives, so some levels you will need to guide them to a beach, by dragging them towards it, or they might be in open water, needing to be rescued, thus when rescue boats are dispatched you need to guide them to safety. The main objective remains the same for all missions; rescue the required amount of swimmers for that level. When lifeboats are dispatched, you can also change the direction of the boats by dragging a line in the direction in which you wish them to travel, in order to pick up those traumatized passengers. Be careful though, because the more boats there are, the more chance of a collision which is not good under those particular set of circumstances! The boats will show a red highlight when they get within close proximity of each other. If there is a collision, all passengers are once again put in danger etc.
There are better equipped boats available that have guns to keep Jaws away in later levels of the game, which adds a bit more action and variety to the game. Although this is a basic concept for a game, it has some very good subtle features included. For example, the swimmers start to panic (which is highlighted by an icon) this will then attract the beast, putting them in increased danger. This therefore makes them a higher priority thus shaping your game plan.
There is a leaderboard option which some people will be pleased with, as well as more standard options like help, game options, and credits. To begin the game from the title screen, hit play, then select what mission you want to undertake, and away you go.. The graphics are quite superb, I especially liked the water effects, and the way you can see the shark under water before he attacks! But probably the most recognisable thing is the classic Jaws theme which turns up the heat a little during gameplay..
Overall I think this is a brilliant little game that had me entertained for quite a while, a simple concept, but well executed, and enough to do the movies justice.