It would seem that movie tie-ins have a new home in the form of the App Store. Given that they’ve always had a cheap and throwaway feel to them, this suits us just fine.
To be fair, this match-three puzzler doesn’t look all that cheap. It’s as colourful as you may expect for a game based around foodstuff, while the artwork remains faithful to the source material.
It certainly does feel throwaway though – a match-three puzzler where rarely do you match-three. The colourful critters – the movie’s Foodimals, no less – often arrive in clumps of six or sometimes even more. Starting with the playing field half-full with characters of the same type isn’t uncommon either.
This does make the sixty second matches very fast paced – the screen is restocked with Foodimals to free as quickly as you can match them – but it also makes the game feel about as satisfying as eating a rice cracker.
In Bejewelled, amongst others, matching 5 or more shapes at once feels like an accomplishment as it isn’t something achievable that often. Here, matching several objects at once is such a common sight, no thanks to the game’s simplistic nature, that the whole thing feels rather pointless.
Luck plays a huge part as well. Each match stumps up a challenge, with one early example being to match up 10 bug-eyed berries during one game. Because the Foodimals arrive in random formations it took us around half-a-dozen attempts to get 10 near one another.
This wouldn’t have been an issue if every attempt didn’t use up one of Flint Lockwood’s batteries – one of the in-game currencies. These batteries are supposedly what Flint’s machine requires in order to free the Foodimals, and have a recharge period of 20 minutes or so. If you don’t want to wait, you have to cough up 69p.
The same goes for the stars that are gained for beating challenges, which are then used to unlock new levels. At £1.49 these are slightly more expensive. We didn’t have enough to face the first boss, and so we were hit with a choice – pay up or revisit the first few levels again. Grind, basically.
The whole ‘it’s for kids who don’t know any better’ mindset doesn’t wash here – handing this to a child to keep them quiet would be like handing them a 10 piece jigsaw puzzle and then wondering why they’re bored of it mere minutes later.
These meatballs have been crushed by candy.