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Flying Shark – Arcade

Arcade version of Flying Shark

Hey my lovely Retro-holics! It’s Monday again already! Not sure where the the weekend has flown off to! Talking of flying off, that brings me neatly onto today’s review..

Flying Shark on the Arcade!


Plane games, war games, anything that can be shot at should provoke these noises in your head immediately! OK, so here we are, Flying Shark, a war plane game, a vertical scrolling shoot em’ up, a bloody HARD war plane vertical scrolling shoot em’ up!

Yes, you take control of the titular plane, the Flying Shark and it’s your job to protect the air ways of enemy planes and clear the ground of tanks and other ground based objects. Along the way you will find red planes that circle the screen and will, if all destroyed provide you with a nice little power up for your plane. You start out with a twin cannon and a big clear the screen nuke bomb which can be replenished when certain items are shot on the screen. Your cannons can be upgraded too, which increases the amount of bullets you can emit and the spread to be able to catch more bad guys in your hair of bullets.

Sounds great doesn’t it? Well it IS great, when you can stay alive for more than 30 seconds at a time. The screen tends to fill up very quickly and you find yourself weaving and more to the point, praying that you don’t get hit by the sheer amount of gunfire that you’ll see heading straight towards you. Planes come at you in groups of 4-5 at a time, and tanks roll out below you in groups of 2-3 at a time. So you can imagine how busy the screen gets, but here’s the good thing…no slow down! how good is that?…actually pretty impressive. I used to own Flying Shark on the ZX Spectrum and loved it, I remember it being tricky but compared to the Arcade version, the Speccy is like playing solitaire.

There are a lot of plusses for this game despite the difficulty level, such as the scrolling for example is very smooth indeed, and move your plane to the left or right of the border and the screen will give you some more playing field to scroll with too. Amazingly the game only has 5 levels and upon completion of level 5, the game will re-play levels 2-5 in a loop, which I guess is quite a clever thing, just means there really is no end to the game, until you use up all your lives. You begin on a runway, and you end on one at the end of the stage too, all bombs you have at the end will boost your score quite nicely too. An incentive to keep them if you are after a mega score. My only real gripe as I have said, is that it’s bloody hard to get too far before your tail end gets blown out and your craft takes a nose dive.

Graphics:- Not a bad job here, lots going on the screen at once with no noticeable slow down, lovely scrolling and a lot of different colours for the enemy sprites. The art on the bi-planes is great, I love the way the enemy planes spiral out before exploding too, nice touch.

Sound:- Lots of explosion sounds, and a sound track that is OK, does the job but not brilliant. I think the sounds that have been put in the game are sufficient for the job at hand.

Overall:- If you like shoot em’ ups with a challenge then give this a go. If you are the type of gamer that gets frustrated easily, I suggest giving this a miss, or at least try but don’t try too hard. It is fun though, and that’s the main point of any game right?  🙂

three star rating

In game screen from Flying Shark

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