Memory Lane – Shark Lark

Shark Lark was an interesting  effort. Where Battle for Berlin used some hidden placement, Lark was all about it.

So there is a game grid, something like 10 or 15 on a side, all water with beaches along the east and west edge. At the beginning of the game, you could pick how many players (yes, it was multiplayer in a hot-key sorta way) and how many sharks.

Sharks would cruise at one or two squares a turn, holding a course and only turning when they hit a beach or board edge. If they detected a player, they would charge at three. Half the time, their fin would be visible (the “^” character).  If a shark hit a player, he was dead.

Players could run three squares on sand, swim slowly at one and fast at two. Of course, swimming fast mean sharks could detect a player further away (I don’t remember just what these ranges were). Once a player was detected, up came the fin and the race was on.

This game revealed a funny strategy – it someone tipped off the sharks and they were going for him, that was the time to stroke for it because sharks would not switch targets. Also good for laughs were players getting killed on one turn, then killed again and again as other sharks came in over following turns. Hoo boy.

We actually played this game once or twice at the Edain Wargame Club around 1980 or so – it was fun for ten players to try to get across the straits and maybe one or two make it. But I was learning more about coding and from this foundation, I started what would be one of my most solid games, Pits of Seth!

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