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iPad  header logo

Foodie Yama

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Needs more salt

Product: Foodie Yama | Developer: Happymagenta | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Foodie Yama iPad, thumbnail 1
Foodie Yama is the latest in a long line of twitch titles that challenge you to somehow outwit your thumbs.

As ever, the simplicity of the piece will make you feel stupid when you fail. All you can do is move left and move right, attempting to avoid a nasty case of death.

Because Foodie Yama's App Store description omits any kind of background story, you'll need to make something up.

There's the desolate cityscape and smoke billowing across the title screen, coupled with a strange green googly-eyed creature sitting upon a pile of fruit.

Perhaps there's been a nuclear war, and the only survivors are the mutant Foodie and a really well-stocked supermarket that the green blobby one has victoriously raided.

Foodie kebab

Regardless, tap play and the ground caves in, sending Foodie and his dinner tumbling. Fortunately, Foodie can stick to walls. Oddly, the food neatly lines up near said walls and handily levitates.

Unfortunately the walls are lined with extremely deadly sharp objects that will ruin Foodie's appetite with a single touch.

The aim is to squelch along, munching fruit, and occasionally daringly leaping between blades, until you inevitably get a sword up the bottom.

Slightly complicating matters, Foodie Yama has a health bar, a progress meter, and a multiplier.

The health bar relentlessly depletes when Foodie's not eating, and the progress bar shows how far you've got to travel to unlock the next bonus food type, which awards you extra points when eaten.

The multiplier builds if you eat food fast enough. It tops out at x5, and stays there if you can cram enough nosh in your gob.

IAPs explained
The game's sole IAP is the least obnoxious - but also probably the least effective - we've seen for some time.

When your 14(!) lives run dry, they'll be replenished for free once, but then it'll cost you 69p / 99c for a refill. But you also get a free life every four minutes - and typical games last about that long.
An imperfect blend

With its jolly tunes, pixel graphics, and amusing voiceovers (a deep baritone announces new fruits and growls 'juicy' when your multiplier increases), Foodie Yama seems pretty tasty at first.

However, the balance is all off. The health bar is too generous by far, meaning you're not really forced to aim for a x5 multiplier to challenge for high-scores. You're better off taking things at a rather more leisurely pace.

During testing it became clear the real challenge was in keeping your thumbs and hands from cramping up rather than keeping Foodie alive.

The lack of brevity perhaps makes Foodie Yama suitable for anyone who likes their twitch titles a touch less brutal than usual.

However, it robs it of the 'one-more-go' factor enjoyed by the likes of dEXTRIS and the mechanically very similar Timberman.
Foodie Yama
Reviewer photo
Craig Grannell | 22 August 2014
A nice enough twitch title, with some lovely graphics and audio, but the game's lack of challenge means it can become a bit dull
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