Astro Shark HD ($0.99) by Unit9 is a physics-based puzzle game where you take on the role of a whale shark who is in love with a Russian space dog named Laika. One day, Laika is captured, so the shark sets out to track down his missing love, scouring the depths of space for her while avoiding obstacles.
Levels consist of a series of planets, which can be used to slingshot the shark through space. Swing from a planet with a swipe to hurl him forward using the planet’s gravity force. The controls are fairly simple, though it can take some time to get used to the process of directing yourself via bursts of gravity.
As you swing from planet to planet, you will need to watch out for motion-seeking missiles and rockets, which will turn you into shark dust. On each level you will see a heart off in the distance – this is the direction that you need to head towards.
You can successfully finish a level by locating Laika, but if you’re destroyed by a rocket or other enemy before you can get to her, you will need to restart the level.
You will also have specific goals to achieve during the level, such as destroying a certain number of planets (done by rocketing off of them) or setting off mines or freeze traps. You complete these actions by utilizing various planets, and they can destroy the missiles that chase you.
Astro Shark doesn’t have revolutionary gameplay, as it is a mechanic that has been done several times before, but it does have a fun concept, featuring a whale shark in love with a space dog. It’s also got some pretty impressive graphics, which make it a pleasure to play.
Of course, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. As I mentioned, it can take some time to get used to the game mechanics and those homing missiles are determined to turn you into whale soup.
That means Astro Shark can be a challenging game. Though it’s hard, the gameplay is rewarding, making Astro Shark worth your $0.99.