A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Your objective is to survive long enough that you can get revenge on someone who killed your mom. Though in getting it, you kill a lot of innocent humans (and fish) who are just out for a swim.
Positive Role Models
The main character is a shark who just wants one thing: revenge. Well, revenge and some food. But mostly revenge.
Ease of Play
While some controls are intuitive, the ones that control the camera are somewhat problematic. Also, the alligators are overly tough and abundant when you're just a young shark, which makes some progress frustrating. Switch players will want to use the Pro controller instead of the Joycons for precise navigation.
Violence & Scariness
Playing as a shark, you use your abundance of sharp teeth to eat fish and other aquatic life, including swimmers and fishermen. This results in a lot of blood and gore splattering everywhere. You also smack people with your tail, but this doesn't cause any bloodshed.
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While some people scream out when they're being eaten, they don't drop any f-bombs. There are some off-color jokes, but nothing too dirty. Other profanity is bleeped out as if they're made on a prime time TV show.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
There is a quick, casual mention of drugs in the dialog.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Maneater is an adventure game for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, and Windows PCs. In it, you play as a baby shark who wants to grow up so she can get revenge on the human who killed her mother. Armed with rows of sharp teeth, you chow down on fish, turtles, and unsuspecting swimmers, resulting in tons of blood and gore being spilled into the water (you also smack enemies with your tail, but this doesn't result in any bloodshed). In addition, because this is decidedly more like Sharknado than anything you'd see during Shark Week, the game has some ribald humor in its dialog and narration, including some quick drug references. It doesn't have any cursing, even by people you're eating; some words are bleeped out as if the language is on a hosted TV show.
Is It Any Good?
While this "shARkPG" -- as the designers call it -- is both fun and funny, both wear a bit thin after a while. In Maneater, you're a baby bull shark who wants to get revenge on the human who killed your mommy. So you do what you can to get big and strong, which includes eating a ton of fish and other aquatic life, looking for lost license plates and other collectibles, and eating humans who are just innocently swimming along and not-so-innocently trying to kill you. All of which happens in the wide-open waters off New Orleans, while actor Chris Parnell (the guy who voices Jerry on Rick & Morty and Cyril on Archer), doles out interesting and often ridiculously untrue "facts" about sharks.
But while this is as much fun as it sounds, and Parnell's narration makes it just as funny, the good times don't last. For starters, the controls you use for the camera are wonky, even after you adjust them, which makes it hard sometimes to truly stalk your prey. This is especially problematic when you're young and you get into fights with alligators, who are annoyingly stronger than you. Switch players may find this to be a larger issue when they're using the Joycons, which aren't as precise as you need them to be when it comes to controlling your shark and the camera in the best way. (The Pro controller is almost required for solid gameplay) It also gets a bit redundant after a while (you can quickly become sick of eating catfish), while the lack of a map when you're swimming makes it hard to navigate the twisty waters. And no, having a glowing light in the sky doesn't help when the waterways are maze-like. None of which is to imply that Maneater isn't entertaining, because it is. But just like real fish, this doesn't stay fresh all that long.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.