Remember “Shark Attack” from way back in the day? I sure do…it was one of the first board games I owned as a child. Each player received a fish and your goal was to move around this circular board as quickly as you could lest the shark catch up and eat you. “Shark Mania” is similar but opts for a more stylish, if not complicated playing area. It’s also got a push your luck element in the sense that players (pirates) will be trying to collect coins as they go. The catch is that they can either move or collect loot, not both. Before I go any further, I’d like to quickly thank the folks at Spin Master Games for providing me with a free press copy.
Various Parts – There are numerous parts of varying shapes and sizes, all of which fit together in some way. It’s best if you watch the video included below so that you can see how they do so.
Pirate Pieces, Die, & Coins – There are four pirate figurines (one of each color), a six-sided die, and coins of varying values.
Setup & Gameplay
Each player chooses a pirate and starts them off on the wrecked ship piece. Once the playing area is set up appropriately, players will start the “fin” which will begin to move toward the players from behind. Taking turns in quick succession, they’ll roll the die and either move or collect coin (equal to the value on the die). Any player who gets caught by the shark is eliminated. Those who make it to the island count their loot and the person with the most, wins!
I’ll be honest, it took me longer to figure out how all of the pieces go together than it did for me to learn the rules. The play area itself takes up more space than I would have liked and would have preferred a board similar to that of “Shark Attack”. The pieces are also a pain to get back into the box due to their varying shape and size. There’s also not a lot of replayability and games can take less than five minutes (if that). I do like the idea of racing to beat a ticking clock, but I’m sorry to say that “Shark Mania” doesn’t cut it, at least, not for the $20-$25 price tag it advertises on Amazon. I could only recommend this for smaller children, though a parent should be nearby to help assemble and monitor the game as the pieces tend to be a bit finicky in terms of fitting together snugly. This is a shame as it had the potential to be very fun and hectic, but the fun aspect was over before I even had a chance to blink. There are plenty of other games out there worth buying at this price range.
Final Verdict: 3/10