Maneater is a lovely feast fest developed by Tripwire Interactive and released in May 2020. In Maneater, play as a newborn shark that is sliced out of its momma’s belly by the man who killed her. Swim your two-chambered heart across eight different regions. Collect upgradable mutations that allow you to poison, stun, and withstand the scars of battle. Hunt for collectibles, sink your teeth into shark hunters, and secure your throne on the top of the food chain!

Why Do I Gush About Maneater Sharks?

Maneater baby shark eating Pete's arm

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to live in a world underwater? Can you imagine being a fish—swishing your fins back and forth, strolling on by with the exact resemblance of frolicking through a field of flowers? Maybe you like the glowing jellyfish. Maybe you enjoy the vast mysteriousness of the sea. Or, you know, eating everything in your path as THE apex predator! Take a moment to chow down because I’m taking a trip down memory lane!

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting Maneater to be as fun as it was. After playing the game, I sensed heavy inspirations from Feeding Frenzy and Hungry Shark World. The same premise is there—like feeding on the lesser prey to grow stronger. But, Maneater throws a curveball by adding tough predator battles, bounty hunters, and modifications. To be fair, about 5-6 hours into the game, I unquestionably felt like the mature maneater shark I was always destined to become.

Story Mode – Maneater Shark vs Man

The story probably takes up only about 5% of the video game, but I still liked it. I try to think about what story I could tell when it comes to an evolving maneater shark… But I got nothing. Yeah, so the video game is pretty short. My 100% completion on a blind playthrough was literally 10 hours long. Excellent for gamer dad occupations (ding, ding, that’s me)!

Maneater Shark completion stats

Minor spoilers below!

Story Background – Man vs Maneater Shark

Pierre LeBlanc aka Scaly Pete Maneater

Players enter the role of a mother shark for the prologue and tutorial of the game. After learning the basics, it’s time to munch on some friendly beachgoers. Unfortunately, Pierre LeBlanc, the main antagonist, is alerted of the shark attack and captures the player. Cutscenes reveal that “Scaly Pete” is being filmed for a cable show called Maneater. The crew watches as Pete butchers the shark and finds a newborn shark in the momma’s belly. Pete slices a gnarly wound in the newborn shark. In retaliation, the baby shark (doo doo, doo doo, doo doo) devours Pete’s hand before being chucked into the Bayou lake. Regain your strength and thrash with vengeful ambition until one day meeting the shark slayer again!

Combat Mechanics

Maneater combat was simplistic and fun. There is actually more button variety than I expected though—maneater sharks can lunge, evade, tailwhip, jump (when on the water surface), and bite. Evading and biting were the two most used mechanics. I only used tailwhip once or twice—no joke. From shark level 1-15, my finger actually cramped due to pressing the right trigger repeatedly for the bite attack. In all fairness, I WAS level 7 and picking fights with level 15 alligators… My finger definitely scolded me later.

Shark Bounty Hunters

sinking with violin

Devouring humans comes with consequences, seeing how bounty hunters don’t take human consumption lightly. Warrant enough blood and be met with a persistent battle against the bounty hunters and their boats. Destroying enough bounty hunter ships will eventually unlock the next infamy rank. Every new rank up to level 10 will send out a special bounty hunter. Defeat the special bounty hunter or their ship to upgrade to the next infamy rank and unlock a distinct mutation. Vanquishing special bounty hunters is required to complete mutation sets (more on that shortly).

Apex Predators

snorkeling under water with fish

Seven regions will have an apex predator. Apex predators are the top dogs of each region. Conquering one demonstrates a true test of strength and superiority. The maneater shark will only be able to fight an apex predator after cutting off its food supply in the region—which means completing sub-quests by munching on delicious prey. Showcasing dominance is also required to complete mutation sets.

Maneater Shark Mutations

Over the course of the game, the maneater shark will occasionally unlock mutations. Mutations can be equipped to the jaws, head, body, fins, tail, and three organs. Each mutation is upgradable to tier 5, offering bigger passives and bonuses. Upgrades require one of four nutrients: Fat (yellow), Minerals (blue), Protein (red), and Mutagen (green). Maneater features three main equipment sets to test your mettle: Bio-Electric, Bone, and Shadow.

Bio-Electric Set

Class set best suited for attacking/stunning hunters and wildlife. Great role for early- to mid-level status.

Maneater Bio-Electric Mutation Set

Bone Set

Class set best suited for crushing boats, resisting damage, and the ideal late game build.

Maneater Bone Mutation Set

Shadow Set

Class set best suited for poisoning wildlife during combat. Good set against apex predators, but honestly the least-useful class in terms of damage output and damage resistance.

Maneater Shadow Mutation Set


Maneater Collectibles. Spongebob Squarepant's pineapple home

When not consuming the life around me, I adventured into uncharted territory and searched for collectibles. Since I’m not chomping on prey, I can chomp on some license plates, loot hidden nutrient boxes, or discover fun landmarks. Leveling up the sonar ability made it extremely easy to figure out where all of them were!

Landmarks, specifically, were the most fun collectibles for me to bite! Each one was like a little Easter egg or reference to another oceanic entity. Here are a few that I liked: mini Stonehenge, the Titanic, Waterworld vessel, and my personal favorite, Spongebob’s pineapple house!


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