Yes, it is a video game version of Sharknado, the campy made-for-basic-cable movie that crashed Twitter and contributed to the fight against unemployment rates by giving Ian Ziering and Tara Reid jobs.
Launched on July 29 just in time for the television debut of Sharknado 2: The Second One on SyFy, this iOS title is pretty much what any sane person should expect from a video game based on Sharknado. Much like the film, the game is campy and doesn’t try to hide it.
The player controls Ziering’s character Fin Shepard, though the facial shots of the on-screen character look more like someone born well after his days as the snarky Steve Sanders of Beverly Hills 90210. In the now “classic” style of an endless runner game, the game starts on city streets where both angry and seemingly giddy sharks are falling nicely into individual lanes of traffic. Along the way the player will encounter various obstacles, coins and sometimes a baseball bat that can be used to obliterate any shark on the street with a single swing.
Eventually a surfboard will be encountered, taking the player into an ocean scene where, yet again, sharks must be dodged. In this portion of the stage the player must also avoid getting the lyrics from the campy Sharknado song that plays in the background stuck in their head for the next several days.
This will eventually lead the player to a flying stage where Fin, now armed with a chainsaw, must dodge random obstacles such as the head of the Statue of Liberty and cut through the flying sharks with the potent power tool.
Once these three sets of obstacles are completed, the player will be treated to the coolest completion screen since the classic Karnov on the Nintendo Entertainment System. A simple white screen stating “Sharknado Destroyed” will appear before dropping the player’s not-Ian-Ziering Fin into the first scenario again, this time with more sharks and stuff in his way.
Buckets of chum also play a part in the game. When Fin and an obstacle collide, the player can save his life with buckets of chum. The game starts with a handful of these buckets and additional ones can be earned through successful game play or through in-app purchases. Spongebob Squarepants villain Plankton is nowhere in sight, however. They have to save something for the sequel.
All in all, while the game might have little bite to it and the price point might seem a little fishy to some people, Sharknado: The Video Game pretty much does manage to deliver what one should expect upon seeing it in the App Store. The game costs $2.99, a price point that has made some video game reviewers balk. Is this video game going to win any yearly awards or do much to pass the time in an airport terminal? No. However, if someone purchases a video game based on any movie, especially one such as Sharknado, they really have little room to complain about the loss of $2.99.
For the record, the game was actually returned to a few times for post-review play. Not yet clear is why, but it happened.
Developer Other Ocean supplied a review copy of this game for this review.