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Video Game / Feeding Frenzy

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Time to climb up the food chain!
Feeding Frenzy is an arcade-style video game released in 2004 by PopCap Games. It allows the players to take on the role of Andy, a tiny yet voraciously hungry purple angelfish who must chew his way through the sea by eating smaller fishes. As you progress in the food chain, you take on the role of bigger and more powerful marine predators and must defeat the Shark King.

The game was successful enough that it got a sequel called Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown in 2006. Featuring improved graphics, more fishes and colorful marine life, and all-new characters, the player must once again eat everything in sight as they try to discover a mystery lurking in the ocean's depth that is causing a disturbance in the oceanic food chain. Both games were later re-released in 2006 for Xbox and Xbox 360.


Feeding Frenzy contains examples of:

  • Alien Invasion: The plot of the second game. The Intruder is an extraterrestrial fish which seeks out to unleash all of its offspring into the sea to take over the oceans of the world.
  • Alluring Anglerfish: Downplayed with Edie in Shipwreck Showdown. Though she can illuminate the Blackout Basement levels, she doesn't attrack any other fish with her light.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: This trope is the major point of both games. Your goal is to become the bigger fish.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Most of the fishes come in multiple palette swaps, which are usually exceedingly vivid: fuchsia-and-orange wrasses, purple-and-blue dories, pink pompanos and so on.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: In the first game, Eddie the anglerfish is identified as male, although it's clearly female as male anglerfish are tiny and don't have a headlight. Averted in Shipwreck Showdown, where he's Gender Flipped and renamed Edie.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Most fish species are portrayed with sizes that are inaccurate when compared to their real-life counterparts. In the later levels of both games, both an oyster and even a queen triggerfish can eat orca whales. There are some particularly egregious examples in this regard...
    • Layla, the queen triggerfish. In her early levels, she can grow up big enough to eat humphead wrasses, which is inaccurate enough on its own, while leopard sharks remain the apex predators. By the time you play as her once more, she can now grow up huge enough to gobble up the very same leopard sharks that were such a pain in the butt for you!.
    • Leopard sharks in the second game suffer a nasty case of Your Size May Vary. The real-life animal measures only 1.2 to 1.5 meters in lenght, yet here they are large enough to eat adult, healthy humphead wrasses and marlins, both of which are fairly large species, measuring up to 2 meters long and 5 meters long in reality. And you eventually encounter leopard sharks big enough to munch on young great whites until you manage to surpass their size. The same applies to barracudas, which we assume are Great Barracudas, whose biggest members measure up to 100 centimeters long.
    • Orville and Goliath, an orca and a great white shark respectively, are both rather small, but this is justified by them being the youngest members of the group. Eating their prey will cause them to grow up to their adult size. Great whites show up as enemies in the sequel only in a single level, being of the same size as Goliath, meaning they are most likely youngsters like him. Plus, an adult Great White can be seen in the menu of Shipwreck Showdown.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The pelicans in Shipwreck Showdown hunt by skimming the water surface, which isn't something any real pelican does.
    • Clams are portrayed as eating any animals that get caught between their shells.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The first game gives you the opportunity to bite a Barracuda's tail for some extra points and in the sequel, shrink it after enough times to be eaten for a lot of points and nutrition value. However, by biting their tail, you will provoke them that they will aggressively pursue you as opposed to passively eat whatever is in their path and unless you have a good amount of maneuverability, you're going to end up being eaten straight away by the fish that you angered.
  • Balloonacy: In Shipwreck Showdown, during the several levels where the playable fish can jump out of the water, there are items occasionally flying around the stage while attached to balloons.
  • Big Bad: The Shark King in the first game, the Intruder in the second.
  • Blackout Basement: Almost all the levels you play as Edie the anglerfish take place deep within the ocean. As such, they are pitch black save for the area immediately next to Edie, making them quite hazardous to navigate. Gobbling bioluminescent plancton or lightbulb bubbles allow Edie's lure to brighten a bit, widening the lit area.
  • Bookends: The second game begins and ends with the players taking the role of Boris the butterflyfish.
  • Bonus Level: Some pop up from time to time.
  • Boss Tease: In the sequel, before the Intruder fully appears around halfway into the game, it appears at the last level of each fish's stage as a Sinister Silhouette that swims by in the background, with the playable fish following the shadow afterwards.
  • Circling Birdies: Little stars spin on top of the fishes temporarily paralyzed by jellyfishes in both games.
  • Clam Trap: The clam at the bottom of the screen will occasionally open, revealing a pearl that your fish can take for bonus points. Beware, though, because when the clam closes its shell while you're on its mouth, you'll be devoured instantly.
  • Degraded Boss: In the early levels of the first game, Barracudas are giant, invincible enemies who semi-regularly swim across the screen, eating everything in their path. As you move up the food chain, they get downgraded all the way to harmless baitfish. Sharks go through the same process later in both games, although they remain high-level, if still eatable, predators.
  • Elite Mooks: Barracudas and sharks.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: All the predatory animals, unless you manage to grow larger than them.
  • Feathered Fiend: In the second game, the player faces pelicans at certain levels.
  • Informed Species: There are great white sharks in the first game, but are so stylized, they look more like cartoony versions of a grey reef shark. The ones in the sequel, while still slightly cartoony and stylized, have been redesigned to look closer to the real animal.
  • Interface Screw: The poisoned minnow, which can be a death sentence to an unexpecting player, looks exactly like the edible minnows in the game, only recolored green. Eating one will invert the controls. They are quite recognizable and bright in the first game, but in Shiwpreck Showdown, their colours have been made darker and duller, making them a tad harder to discern from the normal fishes.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Barracudas are extremely fast and inedible in the first game, and have to be shrunk by biting their tail four times in the second.
  • Metal Slime: The Golden Herring is a very rare fish that zooms by very fast, but if you eat it, you immediately grow a size or complete the level (depending on how big you are when you find it).
  • Mooks: All the predatory fishes and creatures.
  • Nintendo Hard: The two games start off as easy, but get progressively more difficult. The first one is believed by fans to be the hardest of them, especially during the Final Battle.
  • Nuclear Candle: Edie's lure qualifies: what anglerfish can properly light up areas five times its size?
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: After you finish a level without getting devoured once, a mermaid will cross the screen, leaving a flurry of bonus bubbles behind for you to gobble.
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish: The pufferfishes have the annoying habit of sporadically puffing up, revealing some nasty spikes that bounce the player fish away, withdrawing points from the player's score in the process. And since there is no Mercy Invincibility after that, the player very often bounces directly into the maws of a bigger fish.
  • Palette Swap: Some creatures in both games are merely recolors of others the player has previously encountered.
  • Perplexing Pearl Production: The clam at the bottom of the screen occasionally opens to reveal a pearl that can be stolen for bonus points.
  • Rising Up The Food Chain Game: One of the more prominent examples of this trope.
  • Sea Mine: These are among the numerous threats lurking the ocean. If a fish, be it the playable character, preys or predators, come in contact with it, their life will go out with a bang.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Plenty. We have parrotfish, surgeonfish, humphead wrasses, john dories, boxfish, queen triggerfish and leopard sharks, among others. Only true marine animal lovers will recognize them.
  • Secret Character: Finish Shipwreck Showdown once and you'll be awarded with an account named "The Intruder". You can play as The Intruder there, with sucking, jaw size, and speed, all maximum. Arguably doubles as the strongest playable character.
  • Shown Their Work: Even if there is a handful of Artistic License – Biology in both games, it's clear the creators took some time to properly research the main theme of these games:
    • The first fish to unlock the ability to suck in prey is Leon the lionfish — a species that employs this tactic in real life.
    • Shipwreck Showdown tells players some fun facts about marine creatures after they beat a level, many of which are accurate.
    • The leopard sharks from Shipwreck Showdown, while rather oversized, have a color scheme and pattern identical to that of the real creature.
  • Sickly Green Glow: In some levels, there are some poisoned minnows. They are radioactive, and eating them will immediately reverse the controls. This makes them a lethal threat, as unexpectantly swallowing one often leads a surprised player straight into the maw of a bigger fish.
  • The Spiny: Pufferish, when inflated, cannot be eaten—try and you'll simply bounce off in a random direction.
  • Spiritual Successor: To an old Intellivision game, Shark! Shark!
  • Take Over the World: The goal of The Intruder in the sequel is to take over all of Earth's oceans.
  • Threatening Shark: Most of the enemies the player encounters in both games are, as expected, sharks, including the Big Bad of the first game. The first game has Great White sharks in plenty of levels, but in the sequel they only pop up as enemies in one single level. The main predatory sharks in Shipwreck Showdown are instead the leopard sharks. Averted with Goliath the Great White in the second game. He's actually a playable character who's on the good side.
  • Unique Enemy: While you get to play as a Great White Shark in Shipwreck Showdown, they only appear as an enemy in the penultimate level. Like Goliath, they are possibly young ones because of their relatively small size.
  • A Winner Is You: After defeating the Final Boss in both games, all you get is a screen congratulating you for your efforts and your overall score after finishing the game. Subverted in the second game, where you get to play as the Intruder.