Shark Week: Five Ocean-Themed Video Games to Celebrate the Great Week Under the Sea

Discovery Channel's Shark Week is a seven days of learning more about sharks and gaining useful knowledge for ever-important water cooler discussions. But when you're done learning about some animals that eat stuff underwater, there's plenty of ways you can get zen and murderous with video games that traverse the great blue expanse.

The ocean is a big place and traditionally water levels are the most frustrating part of gaming. How, then, do game developers manage to make an 8-hour game centered around swimming in it? The same way Discovery Channel has managed to repackage the same eight shows into 25 years of incredible television entertainment. If you'll excuse me, I'll be watching The Pursuit Channel.

5. Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future You're a dolphin with telekinetic powers on a quest to rewrite history and unite dolphin and humankind with the healing power of song. Oh yeah, and the humans sent the majority of dolphins into space. Essentially, this means swimming around in an unimaginably hard 3D environment and slamming your needle-nosed head into unsuspecting sharks. It's kind of like Ferngully with dolphins. The aliens from the original Genesis titles come back and try to subjugate everything, and whether they get taken out or not is all up to a time traveling dolphin and his magic powers.

4. Titanic: Adventure out of Time Titanic, while insanely dated, was a truly unique adventure game. It pins the beginnings of WWII on various bits of cargo that were lost in the sinking of the ship. The player is cast as a British secret service agent on a mission to stop a German colonel by the name of Zeitel. The game is both an adventure and a history lesson for the ship's passengers and its design. Multiple endings punctuate the unique nature of the game, as the player's success can actually instigate a new golden age for all of humanity and avert the second World War.

3. Bioshock Bioshock, while not making you actually swim in the ocean, is set in an underwater installation that was originally built as a libertarian paradise. You'll deal with unkempt valves, leaky faucets, and a variety of other water hazards while dodging the Paul Ryan fantasy zombies that stalk you at every turn. You'll also discover that magic powers are harnessed by sea slugs. God and Shark Week willing, we'll soon figure out a way to attack our enemies with a horde of bees after discovering some new sea creature.

2. Endless Ocean Series Grand Theft Auto popularized open world titles, but Endless Ocean really defines the genre. You'll play a diver exploring the ocean and doing really nothing of import. The only objective is exploration. Shipwrecks, caves, and numerous other nonthreatening ocean life populate the ocean and your job is to gather treasure and upgrade your equipment. Sharks roam freely, but won't kill you. The Endless Ocean series is your opportunity to talk like a Discovery Channel host as your avatar explores the vast expanse of the sea.

1. Jaws Unleashed Jaws Unleashed is pure, unadulterated shark murder. You're Jaws, and your health bar is also your constantly-decreasing hunger bar. Food is plentiful in the form of swimmers, fishing boats, and wannabe Moby Dicks. In terms of actual fun, however, the game is about the quality of Jaws: The Revenge. The main draw is the idea of playing as the crazed great white and causing wanton destruction around a sleepy vacation spot and the game delivers in spades.

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Alex Weiss
Contact: Alex Weiss