Don’t Step On the White Shark — Not Worthy
Don’t Step On the White Shark is a casual game you can play in your browser. It presents the player with a corridor full of black and white tiles and requires the player to press 1-4 on the keyboard (or use a mouse for slower but more accurate control) to step only on the black tiles, as touching a white tile will result in a game over. There are three modes for slightly different play.
So does this game count as a corridor runner like so many of the other games I’ve been paid to write about lately? It’s a bit like rhythm games (Guitar Hero et al) where color-coded objects come from the top of the screen and you have to press the corresponding buttons to progress. It’s a simple model, and the one presented in Don’t Step On the White Shark is almost completely without frills. You tap your plastic keyboard keys and watch your the pink foot trudge forward.
There’s not much to it. At least it’s less idiotic than Flappy Bird. But this would make a too primitive Commodore 64 or Amiga game, let alone something from 2014. The fact that it’s free is no excuse for a lack of creativity or technique. Don’t Step On the White Shark would benefit from more content. How about a mode with more than two colors or more than four tiles wide so it requires more skill? How about enemies, traps, or powerups? Make this game more interesting. Here’s an ugly DOS game from 1991 that offers a much more complex and enjoyable experience with a similar premise.
Don’t Step On the White Shark is a near-exact clone of Don’t step the white tile. To the author’s credit, they admitted to me up front that their game was a ripoff in both name and content. I wouldn’t have known about the source material had the author not been candid with me, though the rest of my review would have been identical. So while the game may be an imitation of another, it’s not completely dishonest. And this one’s title is grammatically correct.
As a rule I look down at ripoffs. Building upon someone else’s concept and making improvements to their formula, now that’s wonderful. But a straightforward copy of another article of media without contributing any innovations of your own? I’m going to make fun of that, sorry. Don’t Step On the White Shark even takes the same three playable modes from Don’t step the white tile. And it won’t let me start a new game with anything on the keyboard, necessitating a swap back to the mouse just for one menu click.
Being casual doesn’t have to mean boring, as seen with the game I reviewed earlier this week. A good casual game could be something that many people waste their time with while at work or sitting on the bus/toilet. The creators of this game didn’t take the opportunity to begin with the framework of an existing game and progress with their own creative yields. All they did is make it playable on a browser, and the game wasn’t that good to start with. Do better next time.