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They Need To Be Fed 2

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Leave room for dessert

Product: They Need To Be Fed 2 | Developer: Bit Ate Bit | Publisher: Bit Ate Bit | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade, Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
They Need To Be Fed 2 iPad, thumbnail 1
When you're a kid, your parents will often tell you that you can only have your dessert once you've eaten every last mouthful of your dinner.

Even if it's an enjoyable main course, this can prove to be torture for an impatient young 'un.

In a similar fashion to your mum, the masterchef behind They Need To Be Fed 2 tantalisingly tempts you with a flavourful dessert that packs a considerable kick, only to make you sit down at its table and force a decent meal down your gob first.

We've eaten here before

This is a sequel to the 2010 platformer They Need To Be Fed, and we're not being controversial when we say that this is more of the same. The developer - sorry, chef - even says as much on the game's App Store page.

This means seven colourful worlds of running and jumping around a series of simple geometric shapes, each of which has its own centre of gravity.

Take a running jump off a circular planetoid, and you'll orbit it until gravity pulls you back in. You'll have seen this mechanic employed in a number of other iOS games, but it's still great fun to pull this manoeuvre off.

Unfortunately, the virtual direction controls in They Need To Be Fed 2 are never quite instinctive enough. There are separate virtual keys for moving clockwise and anti-clockwise that are just fine when properly oriented, sure.

But when they're flipped upside down, you can expect to experience a number of needless deaths as your brain fails to make the requisite split-second adjustment.

Fed up

Another issue here is that the gameplay is extremely similar to the first title, especially early on. Familiar elements such as rotating platforms and hazardous spikes make repeat appearances, alongside lasers and speed-boosting chilli plants.

They Need To Be Fed 2 is an entertaining 2D platformer, but it's one we've seen before. Even the graphics are pretty much identical to the first game (though, admittedly, they are still lovely to behold).

It's not until you've completed the seven worlds, along with the special 'X' levels that open up at that point, that the game gets a little more interesting.

Epic win

At this juncture, you see, you get to play through a mirrored, twisted version of each level in Epic mode. Here, the checkpoints are removed, platforms have the nasty tendency of exploding permanently, and there are new knick-knacks to collect.

This presents you with a stern challenge, which will require numerous restarts on your part. Epic mode ends up being a more intense and rewarding experience than the main game - though those control issues are exposed even more here.

We wouldn't exactly describe the experience of having to play through the main game first as 'painful', but we would have appreciated earlier access to Epic mode nonetheless.

Bit Ate Bit serves up a number of well-cooked, beautifully seasoned platforming dishes for you to consume in They Need To Be Fed 2. If you're after that exotic dessert, mind, you'll have to swallow every last mouthful of the main course first - and you can expect a few dropped eating implements along the way.
They Need To Be Fed 2
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 24 April 2013
They Need To Be Fed 2 offers more of the same platform-physics action as its predecessor, albeit with a couple of tasty twists at the end. It's a shame you have to wait for the truly interesting stuff, though, and the game's controls never quite click as they should
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Apr 2013
Post count:
Jim Le | 13:03 - 26 April 2013
Personally I found mastering the controls to be one of the more rewarding aspects to the game.

At times most of the successful attempts at the levels were due to a deep breath and a serious look at my rubbing head patting stomach nodes in my brain and every time I failed i KNEW it was player error which is testament to a very good game dynamic.

I absolutely agree that by the time you've got to the Epic levels you've had a really fun experience which you assume is at its end but it is such an absolute delight to then find out you have soooo much more to discover. I'm about 3/4s of the way through Epic and laughing out loud at my (mostly) failures and (occasional) wins!

A game that makes me laugh out loud at what its taught me is massively high up in my regards.

Personally I agree with all of the comments below that this is right up there with one of the better games on the iOs and a highly recommendable one for colleagues I know with a desire for something new and something challenging.
Nov 2011
Post count:
mr_bez | 12:29 - 24 April 2013
I didn't really have any trouble adapting to the controls, but I remember that it took some getting used to when I played the first. I think they're excellent, though, and feel wonderful as you loop in and out of the gravity of different objects. If Nintendo ever make a 2D Mario Galaxy team, I'll wager that it will control an awful lot like this.

The rest of the review is bang on the money though - Epic Mode is definitely the juiciest part of the game and it felt more like a definitive edition or remake than a sequel.
Apr 2011
Post count:
NotSpam | 12:02 - 24 April 2013
Hmm, dubious you give Cube or whatever the molydeux game is called a 9 and this a 7. If it's similar to the 1st game easily one of the best platformers on iOS = at least an 8?

The controls are loopy but isn't that where the skill comes in as you brain contorts it's bearing to jump the right way in this weird gravity game? That is the fun: It depends on how challenging vs frustrating I guess.

Loved the visuals, music and gameplay of the first one: Definitely getting this.
Jul 2012
Post count:
Contest Chris | 10:41 - 24 April 2013
And I just want to stress...not only are the controls simple, they are perfect at what they're meant to do and how they work.
Jul 2012
Post count:
Contest Chris | 10:29 - 24 April 2013
Really? You got issues with the controls? My friend, you have just failed as a reviewer. The controls here are magnanimously simple - left/right and jump.

The fact that you blame the controls when you are flipped upside down shows that you're a poor gamer, and are wrongly victimising the ultimately simplistic control scheme.

I never played the original, so I give it a 8/10.