Have you ever played a game that gives you deep-seeded anxiety? That game for me was always Jaws for the NES. As a young child, I was allowed to watch the classic 1975 Stephen Spielberg movie, Jaws (thanks mom!). The cover art alone is the most horrifying VHS box art that has ever existed! Poor sweet lady just swimming along with that monster shark the size of a mac truck underneath her, with those razor sharp teeth and wide open jaws (shivers). That image still haunts me every time I get into a body of water. And that music: dun dun… dun dun…. dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnn! Well guess what made it’s way into the NES game… an 8 bit rendition of that terrifying tune!
The truth is, I enjoyed this game as a kid, but I could never beat it. I could never stand to be that anxious, for that long of a period. I would always just quit. Now that I have revisited this game as an adult, I must say that I really enjoyed it! It was very short, but honestly as a gamer with a full time job, wife, and children, I don’t mind games that are short. It is nice sometimes to be able to sit down and complete a game in under 30 minutes, and Jaws definitely falls into that category.
This game should be a terrible one. It’s a movie licensed cash grab that was published by LJN.
However, in my opinion, this is an enjoyable game. Jaws starts off with no backstory or text sequences. It just throws you right into the action! You start off in a ship where your goal is to make it to the other port and back again. Along the way you encounter random battles where you can collect conch shells that serve as this games currency and purchase power ups that allow you to level up the power meter that is needed to take downJaws. Whenever you deplete Jaws’ health meter, the game switches to a first person view where you can ram Jaws with your boat for the final kill and end the game.
Jaws may not be some great game on an epic scale, but I don’t think the game deserves near the amount of hate it often receives. At the very least, it is original and there is no other experience that is even close in the NES library: an underwater shark battling game with RPG elements. This would have been the perfect weekend rental game in the late 80’s. Even today, it’s a game I would still recommend.