Jaws Revenge is a 2012 app game developed by Fuse Powered Inc based on the titular Jaws franchise that is available for iOS and Android devices. The 24MB game is completely free and carries a ‘High Maturity’ age rating. During the game you play as ‘Jaws’ the shark from Jaws and the aim of the game is eat enough people to stay alive whilst your health continuously drops.
The gameplay in Jaws Revenge is relatively simple, Jaws will swim along and it’s your job to make him eat things to sustain the constantly decreasing health bar (Stomach Fullness Bar technically but a health bar is a health bar regardless of what you call it). Pressing down on the screen makes Jaws dive until your finger is released whereby Jaws is then slung out of the water and into the air. The longer you press the screen, the further he dives and the higher he leaps with the higher value items being both at the bottom of the diving restriction and the top of the jumping restriction.
Whilst in the air there is also a helpful lunge function whereby pressing the screen again, causes Jaws to lurch forward and snatch something that might otherwise have been missed. There are also handy floats in the water which Jaws can leap onto and then slide across, eating everything in its path.
Along the way you will face increasing numbers of underwater mines, machine gun boats, explosive drum dropping helicopters and missile firing submarines all of which cause significant amounts of damage to the poor hungry Jaws. Thankfully though there are plenty of seagulls, scuba divers, sunbathers and cruise boats for you to munch on and things only get more interesting when you unlock the pirate world.
There are 4 worlds in Jaws Revenge (Amity Island, Laguna Del Partido, Playa de la Sol and Blackbeard’s Bay) and each world contains 10 challenges and a Free Play mode. The 10 challenges all comprise of the same kind of tasks, eat X number of item Y by buoy Z. Each challenge that is completed earns the player a coin bonus, an increase in the score multiplier and the subsequent challenge. In Free Play mode on the other hand, you play through a randomised rendition of the map but with treasure chests containing random allotments of coins up to 125 and a layer of coins at the top of the layer which is reachable only through much higher jumps boosted by Frenzy mode.
These ‘shark tooth coins’ are the only way to proceed in the game. The coins buy upgrades (more health, bigger bite, further lunge etc.) and each upgrade levels Jaws up a notch and only after reaching certain levels are the new worlds unlocked.
This is where the major fault of the game takes place; getting coins is ridiculously time consuming. Completely challenges earn you surprisingly little coinage, a number which doesn’t increase the further through the game you get and you get the reward money the first time you complete the challenge. The cost of the upgrades however increases an awful lot up to 15,000 coins whereby the player is still only receiving 300 coins for every completed challenge. The only other way to get coins is through Free Play mode where coins can be collected one by one in the sky or through the random treasure chest.
The game is genuinely really fun and addictive but it is so arduous to proceed that the game loses some of its magic. The pirate world is obviously the most fun but the amount of grinding necessary to unlock it, completely distorts the cost/ reward ratio.
There are also 51 license plates to collect that display a cryptic message (which I have posted in full below), each time you play Free Play mode you will get one chance to collect a license plate. The location of the license plates is relatively random and sometimes you don’t get any chance at all. If by buoy 6, you haven’t seen one, chances are that you are not going to.
The restrictions are very limited on how low you can dive/ high you can jump, causing very linear gameplay that can be accomplished with only one hand. The game never really becomes difficult and even the hardest challenges can be completed by the third or fourth attempt.
Having said that though, the beauty to this game is in its simplicity; it’s not difficult or challenges or particularly diverse but it’s a simple and fun game mechanic with a bit of polish so that the graphics look great. The kills are gory and it’s nice to see the world through the shark’s eyes, he’s not evil – he’s hungry and doesn’t want to starve.
Like I said before, the game is free and despite its flaws it’s still really fun. I highly recommend Jaws Revenge if only because I have a newfound sympathy for Jaws and his plight. He just wants to eat…
The secret message in the license plates reads:
| IL C8CH DS | BIRD 4 YOU | BT IT AINT | GONA BE EZ|
| BAD FI5H NT | LIKE GOIN | DWN D PND | CHZN BGLZ |
| N 2MYCODS | DIS SHARK | SWLO U HOL | LTL SHAKN |
| LTL 1ORZN | AN DWN U GO | AN WE GOTTA | DO IT KWIK |
| DAT L BRIN | BK UR 2RST | PUT ALL UR | BZNSZ ON A |
| PYN BSIS BT | TS NOT GNA | B PLEZNT I | VALU M NECK |
| A LOT MORE | TN 3K BUKZ | CHIEF ILL | FND M FOR 3 |
| BT L C8CH M | N KIL M 4 10 | BUT U GOTA | MAKE UP UR |
| MINDZ IF U | WNT 2 STAY | ALIV DEN NT | UP IF U WNT 2 |
| PLY IT CHEP | B ON WELFR | D HOL WINTR | I DNT WANT |
| NO VLNTRS | I DNT WANT | NO M8S DRS | JUS 2 MANY |
| CPTNS ON DS | ILAND 10K 4 | ME BI MISLF | 4 DAT U GET |
| DE HEAD DE | TAIL D HOL | DAM THING |
“I’ll catch this bird for you, but it ain’t gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down the pond chasin’ bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow you whole. Little shakin’, little tenderizin’, an’ down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that’ll bring back your tourists, put all your businesses on a payin’ basis. But it’s not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I’ll find him for three, but I’ll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you’ve gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don’t want no volunteers, I don’t want no mates, there’s just too many captains on this island. $10,000 for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.”
Hopefully you will all recognise the above as Quint’s speech from the first film.
All images are copyright to Universal Studios and Fuse Powered Inc.