Review: Maneater, from baby shark to Jaws

Jaws by Steven Spielberg is a classic best known for its tune. When we play Maneater from Tripwire Interactive LLC, we regularly catch ourselves singing that tune. But the babyshark tune also skips by. After the intro you play a nameless shark from birth until you have become a merciless all-rounder.

Maneater is a game where you take on the role of a small baby shark. A shark hunter killed your mother and brutally gave birth to you. You are torn from your mother via a forced cesarean section and then mutilated with a scar. This so the shark hunter can recognize you later. Luckily, Babyshark gets some revenge by biting off the shark hunter's arm and escaping. And from there your story begins as a baby shark who wants to take revenge on the shark hunter. During this revenge mission, your shark will come across several other shark hunters who are all after you. Everyone has their own reason for that. You want to use one for cooking and the other is looking for a new challenge, for example. Shark life is not about anemones.

Maneater is eating with frustrations

The basic storyline isn't even the worst thing about this game. Maneater is a game that can frustrate you enormously and that is mainly in the gameplay. The camera control is terrible. With your left stick you control the shark and with the right stick you control the camera. Swimming up and down involves how you operate the camera. So if you want to look above you with the camera, you also swim straight up. Now that's not very annoying when you're swimming around, but it does get annoying when you're in underwater battles.


Combat in Maneater is made unnecessarily difficult by the in-game camera control. Because the camera also participates in the control of your shark, it often happens that you just completely miss or even lose your prey. The lock-on system that is supposed to prevent this has already gone to hell. You get a lock-on on a prey if it swims in front of you, but as soon as your prey disappears from view, you immediately lose your lock-on. So I wonder what the point of this feature was in the game. The game would be a lot more playable if the lock-on functioned as it should. Especially in the beginning when you are only a vulnerable baby shark, you regularly go wrong thanks to the camera or the lock-on system.

Great shark documentary

What Maneater mainly needs is swimming around in the water and looking for collectibles. You will be accompanied by a voice over while swimming around and fighting. And this voiceover regularly has funny comments about the shark's life and the underwater world. Swimming under water is beautiful and fun to watch. The collections range from visiting special locations and finding license plates. During your quest you can eat everything that comes your way. The game's map is structured just like an average Far Cry game. Each area requires a completion of x number of objectives. Only when you have completed that you can go to the next area.


The objectives in Maneater are quite repetitive. Whether you have to hunt a crocodile or a catfish, you don't have many different things to do. You can, however, have your shark mutated with some special properties. By beating other animals or people you earn points with which you can develop your shark. For example, you can opt for a stronger jaw to bite through boats, or you can give yourself some electrical power to shock your opponents. You can adjust all this in the shark's home cave.

Verdict of Maneater

Maneater from Tripwire Interactive LLC is a game that mainly relies on the environment and the funny commentary that the voice over provides. It feels more like a funny documentary that you can play than a real shark simulator. The gameplay and especially the camera is something that can be very frustrating for the player. A non-functioning lock-on system also adds to the frustration. If the camera control and lock-on system would just work properly, Maneater would be a decent game. For the diehard it is a great game to play, but we think that many gamers will give up when they lose their prey for the 100th time. With a few minor updates or one major update, the game might still be saved.

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