Ok, I’m a softy, the kids convinced me to purchase Feeding Frenzy from Big Fish Games, the brains behind Nick and Nick Jr. games. I have to admit, once I got the hang of it and maneuvered through the whole map once, I enjoyed playing it. I am proficient enough now to run the whole map from Angel Reef to Shark Reef, without getting chomped by mutant clams, eating poisonous fish, being blow up by mines or eaten by the array of denizens of the deep. While dodging Barracuda, Sharks, and Killer Whales, be sure to collect as many of those starfish bubbles as possible, they give you extra life. Where the fish are moving really fast and you have the option, go for the pearls, especially the black ones, they make you grow into the big fish on the reef.
After much badgering, the kids further convinced me to purchase Feeding Frenzy 2, Shipwreck Showdown. They said I needed a bigger challenge. I didn’t bother taking a test drive, because Feeding Frenzy worked just fine-I should have.
On my computer, a standard Gateway laptop with Intel Pentium III processor, 256MB RAM, Feeding Frenzy graphics were clear, no fuzziness, the color was good and the game was responsive. I was very disappointed in how Feeding Frenzy 2, Shipwreck Showdown appeared graphically on this machine. Clarity was down, color was less intense, response was sluggish and it felt less “real” than Feeding Frenzy.
Where Feeding Frenzy ran smoothly, loaded in a reasonable amount of time and didn’t make you swim through too many menus, Feeding Frenzy 2, Shipwreck Showdown put me in a frenzy making me wait even for menus to load. It became quickly evident that my computer could not handle the increased graphic load and the transitions. It is extremely slow to load and often hangs up making it necessary to opt out to the desktop then back to the program to force loading to “push.” Even then it is still aggravatingly slow.
Beyond the technical issues, Feeding Frenzy 2, Shipwreck Showdown is indeed more challenging. Besides eating fish, you have insects to leap for, squid that will ink you and make you vulnerable, like the jelly fish sting in Feeding Frenzy and there is this annoying shadow fish that finally shows up at the end as your final challenge. It is a giant mutant alien fish. You have to bite a target on its tail and drag it into a mine to acquire “magic mushrooms.” It is very hard to coordinate this maneuver for the kids and I have found myself challenged as well. The addition of trying to find your way in the dark, unless you can eat some photo plankton, does increase the challenge to stay alive and the fish lures that will drag the big fish out of the picture is an interesting touch. The fish are less colorful and imaginative than in the original and really failed to “float my boat.”
Overall, if you are in the market to purchase one game, I recommend Feeding Frenzy, the original. If you are considering purchasing Feeding Frenzy 2, Shipwreck Showdown, be sure your system can supply the added RAM and video capability needed to make those fish swim smoothly. Take the free test drive and try to get as far into the program as possible in the time allotted.
Big Fish Games offers a variety of games for a variety of ages on their website. If you go to one of the Nick websites, you can find the games rated for ability from beginner on up. All the Dora and Diego games are popular with the little ones. And, of course, all of their favorite Nick toons are featured.