A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Maneater is an adventure game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC. 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Although it's longevity is not the best, it is still very fun! Of course there's blood and gore like that, it may be unsettlin... Continue reading
What's it about?
In MANEATER, you play as a baby bull shark who wants to get revenge on the fisherman who killed your mom (and who you play as during this game's training exercise). To do this, you're going to need to grow up so you're strong enough to take him down. This means eating right, exercising, and, strangely, trying to find license plates that people have somehow lost in the water. In doing this, you'll not only get bigger and stronger, but you'll unlock augmentations that puts this game decidedly more in line with a Sharknado sequel than anything you'd see on National Geographic.
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. 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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Maneater affected by the amount of blood spilled during the game when you eat fish, swimmers, and other aquatic life? Do you think showing all that blood being spilled is necessary or gratuitous? Would the gameplay have the same effect if the amount of blood was decreased?
How does Maneater fudge the truth about sharks? You do know that sharks don't jump onto the decks of fishing boats to eat people or dedicate their whole lives to getting revenge?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Tripwire Interactive
- Release date: May 22, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Ocean Creatures, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Mild Language
- Last updated: May 22, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.