App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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Shark Pool is a puzzle game where you fling sharks out of your shark den at people encroaching on your turf. There's not a ton to it, but its turn-based action–which feels a little like a mix between Angry Birds and a classic snake game–follows the tried-and-true formula of “easy to learn, but hard to master.” So, while it may not become your next obsession, Shark Pool is still a pretty solid and unique puzzle game.
In Shark Pool, your goal is to launch sharks from the center of your screen out toward humans who inch closer and closer to your base. Flinging sharks out of your cave is simply a matter of pulling back on the screen and releasing, much like Angry Birds, but things get interesting once you've let go of the screen.
Instead of just hitting enemies, sharks in Shark Pool bounce off of everything they hit. This makes it possible to create huge combos where you reflect your sharks off of multiple enemies and the ropes surrounding your den.
As you get further into a game of Shark Pool, enemies get more durable and need to take more hits before they are no longer a threat. To help you surmount these foes, you can also pick up additional sharks as you play, which makes it so that when you launch a shark from your den, it is immediately followed by a train of all the other sharks you've picked up.
This adds an additional strategic layer to the game, as you can setup situations where your sharks take on different trajectories and move all over the map in crazy ways. It's not always something that's easy to predict, but lining up your shots in just the right way to take out a ton of enemies can be really satisfying.
If you leave an enemy on screen too long in Shark Pool, they eventually reach your den and end your run. From here, you can start all over again and try to beat your old high score, or you can shoot to complete a side-objective that is offered every time you play. These things don't add a ton of replayability to the game, but that's kind of hard to complain about considering the Shark Pool is free-to-play.
Something else worth noting about Shark Pool's price tag is that the game is made free by being ad-supported. This is occasionally annoying, but there is (thankfully) an option to pay $2.99 to get rid of ads. The flipside to this though is that there are also consumable continues that you can buy to keep playing a game and boost your score, which seems like a good way to ensure your leaderboards are filled with people that pay to be on there rather than players who have honed their skills.
The bottom line
There are definitely some things that aren't so great about Shark Pool, but that doesn't change the fact that flinging trains of sharks at people can be really fun and satisfying. It may not be a great game for score-chasers, but if you want a little puzzle game that can give some personal challenge, Shark Pool is worth looking into.