Midway’s Blue Shark

I’m going to write a few blurbs for the arcade games I’m bring to a show this year, just a little background information that I plan to attach to each game. I figure that since I’m writing these anyway with a couple little changes I could also post them here. For my trial run at this let me introduce you to Blue Shark.

Blue Shark was released by Midway in 1978. It’s an early black and white game that I believe can best be described as a shooting gallery type game. There is a spear gun fixed to the control panel that pivots left and right that you use it to aim and shoot at the creatures on the screen. Midway put a nice effort into making these black and white games look very nice. They used a one way mirror in such a way as to make the sea creatures appear to swim around a fairly elaborate underwater scene. It’s going to be easier to show this effect then explain it so here is a video I made showing off the game.

The basic premise of the game is that you are a deep sea diver armed with your trusty spear gun. You have 99 seconds to shoot as many creatures as you can. I can’t tell you why you are out to shoot all the sea life in the area, maybe they beat up your brother and it’s a revenge thing I don’t know. You receive 200 points for the sword fish, 300 points for the shark at close range, 400 points for the octopus and 500 points for the shark at long range. Every so often another diver will try to get in your way. You will want to avoid shooting him because if you do hit him 500 points will be subtracted from your score. If you reach 18,000 points you will be rewarded with a free game. In the video I said you would receive extra time but I was mistaken.

Unfortunately Blue Shark is going to be a difficult one to experience firsthand. It is a fairly obscure title and there doesn’t seem to be that many still out there. It was never popular enough to be ported to any other system and even though it can be played in MAME I find that without the spear gun or the artwork it’s really not as engaging. Those little touches really bring you into the game and without them it’s just a pretty bland looking shooter and just not the way it was intended to be played.


I'm a kid of the 70's and 80's. Grew up on Saturday morning cartoons, Atari and Music Videos. My current hobby is repairing arcade games, mostly from the 70's and trying to find space to put them.

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8 thoughts on “Midway’s Blue Shark

  1. Hey there! Thought you might know but what is the Shark game being played at the arcade in the Jaws movie 1975? IT seemed to have much better graphics than Blue Shark does.

  2. blinddog says:

    Yes the Retroist is right its Killer Shark from Sega an older EM (electro mechanical) game. Killer shark projected a series of shark images on the screen so it does like better then the game created graphics in Blue Shark. In some ways these early video games were still trying to catchup with EMs.

  3. Great post, Blinddog! I can vaguely remember playing Blue Shark in one of the skating rinks in my neck of the woods back in the day. Awesome video as well…you need to do more of these, friend! Show us what else you have in your collection. :)

  4. Cosmic Joker says:

    I couldn’t help but notice the octopus in that game had the ability to ninja vanish and reappear all over the screen. Perhaps it was in training to exact revenge on the fishermen and sushi chefs that cut his family into tasty tidbits.

  5. If my memory serves me right, George Gomez designed the harpoon gun on this machine as one of, if not the first, assignment when he started with Midway. George Gomez is the great man behind the Tron games, Satan’s Hollow, Spy Hunter, and later went into Williams/Bally pinball (same company as Midway at the time) and built Corvette, Johnny Neumonic, Monster Bash, and Revenge From Mars and is now oversees development at Stern Pinball. He’s done a bunch of games for them like Lord of the Rings, Batman: Dark Knight, and his most recent game is Transformers. It all had to start somewhere for him, and that little harpoon gun was his first creation in the gaming world.

  6. blinddog says:

    @Ryan Grant
    I had not heard that thanks for the fun fact. I don’t believe Mr. Gomez is going to make it to our show this year. It would have been an interesting thing to bring up to him.

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