Foodies, a cute casual game from Nano Titans, is now available from the app store. Featuring strange characters, challenging level design, and a unique control method, Foodies is an engagingly delightful treat.
- Great Retina Display graphics and fun animations
- Soundtrack is cheerful and airy
- Innovative control system is well-suited for the game and fun to use
- GameCenter integration for single leaderboards
- 3-Candle rating system offers replay value
- Platform disappears when you move fingers too close to screen edge
- Third candles can be devilishly difficult to obtain
The silly storyline revolves around our main character, Snacky Sam, trying to win the heart of Miss Pam, who likes her amorphous orange blobs with a little extra junk in the trunk. With a one week ultimatum to pack on some pounds, Sam goes on a binge-eating bender of epic proportions. There are 80 levels of increasing difficulty spread even across 4 worlds. Sam gets spit into each level through a tube at the top of the screen. In order to direct Sam toward the food and away from danger, you must use two fingers placed upon the screen to form the endpoints of a straight-line platform. Keeping contact with the screen and moving your fingers around allows you to alter the angle of the platform, bouncing and pushing Sam around the level. The goal is to collect all of the food as quickly as possible (some levels are timed) and with as little contact with the platform as possible (some levels have bounce maximums). Once you collect everything in a level, you receive a score that can earn you between zero and three candles on a cake (similar to the popular 3-star grading systems) provided you best the preset thresholds. Earning 1 or 2 candles is fairly easy, even on the first attempt, but the 3rd candle is often frustratingly elusive, which offers a great challenge for those of us who need to earn them all.
There are many ways to lose in each level. Typically, the left, right, and bottom parts of the screen are open, allowing Sam to leave the screen via any of the three. If you cannot keep Sam in the playing area, you must start over. Running out of time will also end your game, as will exceeding the bounce limit. As you delve deeper and deeper, you’ll encounter dangers and obstacles that require greater and greater precision. Ceiling spikes, buzzsaws, shooting spacecraft, and other dangers can end your game with a single touch. Also, smacking Sam too hard with the platform or moving him too fast can also force you to restart. Sam’s body can take a bit of a beating, as evidenced by his squishiness when hit, but he has his limits like any of us.
Graphically, Foodies has a colorful and cartoonish look, with Retina Display graphics that add a crispness and clarity to the game. The character is fun to manipulate and the variety of foods offers an additional challenge, as some levels require that you avoid certain types. The audio is terrific, with some cheerful tracks that keep the mood light and airy. There are a bunch of sound effects using kids voices for various events, and it’s ultra cute (“What’s the matter with you?”) until you hear it for the hundredth time and realize that it’s getting a little repetitive. It would be cool if those only triggered occasionally to put smiles on our faces. The controls work surprisingly well, though they can be a little uncomfortable at times and will disappear on you if you get too close to the screen edge. Of note, the platform won’t block projectiles fired at Sam, but can be used to bounce him upward or knock him downward.
Replay value is great, as the third candles will take most gamers a while to snag. You can always up your score with more efficient play, so there is additional reason to play even if you’ve maxed out on candles. GameCenter integration adds a leaderboard to compare your total score with players around the world. Foodies is yet another of a recent slew of highly addictive casual games to hit the market, but it certainly has enough distinctive elements to set itself apart. At $0.99, Foodies is priced competitively and should make some noise on the app store charts with a little more recognition. Foodies is a 4.5-Dimple charmer.