While one might say that Shark Dash is “inspired by Angry Birds,” you can’t really accuse it of being a rip-off. It takes the Angry Birds formula – you fling one animal at another animal in a physics-based game – but goes in a different and cool direction.
In Shark Dash, you are, of course, a shark, and you live in a bathtub. Yes, that’s means you’re a tiny shark. Your job is to fight the evil rubber duckies that have invaded the tub and are lassoing everybody.
You do that by flinging yourself around the bathtub at the duckies. There are all sorts of other things in the tub, too, like rubber life preservers that speed you up and big clear tubes that redirect you. And then, of course, there are the various objects that the rubber duckies like to sit on.
The twist in all this is that the second time you launch you don’t go from where you started. Instead, you launch from where you landed after your first shot. At first this seems novel, but as you play you realize each stage is very structured, and so beating it is a matter of figuring out exactly where the developers want you to shoot your shark. I suppose it’s possible to beat the stages by not following the steps they’ve laid out before you, but in general, you’re going to have to follow them if you want to get an optimal score.
Once you figure out that there are specific steps to take, the puzzles become pretty easy to solve, and you won’t find much of a challenge with this game. After all, it only took me about ten minutes to get through the first fifteen stages.
And that’s the problem with Shark Dash. It’s simply not difficult enough to keep you occupied for more than a short amount of time. If you’re taking the bus somewhere in LA, for example, you might be able to complete all the stages and get the optimal score before you reach your destination. And that’s just not good enough.