Shark! Shark!

INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [Mattel Electronics #5787]

Release #43 December 6, 1982

Working Title: Shark

Design & Program: Ji-Wen Tsao

Package illustration: Jerrol Richardson

Instructions Posted Here


It's survival of the fittest in the deep, dark waters of the ocean. And you're just a little fish! You must eat smaller fish to stay alive and grow. But you're not the only one struggling for survival. Bigger fish are out to eat you. Beware, the most feared predator of all is on your tail. Shark, Shark! One or two-player action.


Marketing totally dismissed Shark! Shark! as an inconsequential kiddie game and was reluctant to release it. It had one of the smallest initial shipments of any Intellivision game -- only 5,600 copies in 1982 (compared to nearly 800,000 for the heavily advertised Star Strike). So, of course, there were almost no copies in the stores when Shark! Shark! went on to become one of the best reviewed Intellivision games ever ("Shark! Shark! is an original. A must cartridge for Intellivision owners...positively delightful...certainly one of the finest cartridges for this system." -- Videogaming Illustrated, June 1983).

BUG: Due to a timing error in the Intellivision II, the bubble sounds don't have their full effect when the cartridge is played on that system.

FUN FACT: Designer Ji-Wen Tsao got the idea for the game from the Chinese proverb "Big fish eat little fish."

FUN FACT: In animating the sea creatures, Ji-Wen was unsure how a crab moved. After she was unable to find a real or videotaped one, cubicle neighbor Steve Sents (TRON Deadly Discs) brought his pet tarantula into the office for her to use as a model. We aren't sure if it was any help as a crab model, but it sure creeped out the other programmers.

FUN FACT: Everyone thought it would be a great gag to use the song Mack the Knife ("Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear...") for the "game over" music. Andy Sells put together a hilarious arrangement of the song which was used in the prototype version, while the Mattel crack legal team looked into getting clearance to use it. We had never licensed a song before, so they weren't used to tracking down rights, but they finally found the owner: Warner Communications...parent company of Atari. Andy wrote an original tune to use instead.