Random lesson of the day: Yama, in Japanese, means mountain, so when people say “Mount Fujiyama”, they’re actually saying “Mount Fuji mountain”. Either “Mount Fuji” or “Fujiyama” gets the job done.
And so to Foodie Yama, an App Store title that challenges you to eat a mountain of food. Er, that’s the on-screen “you”, as opposed to you, you big meat sack.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m generally trying to steer clear of free games, for, well, a multitude of reasons I won’t go into here. But with a plethora of generally positive reviews and just the one in-app purchase (IAP; I’ll get to that later), I decided to give Foodie Yama a blast while waiting around an airport.
Foodie Yama is incredibly easy to get to grips with. Essentially you’ve got a little green protagonist, and the aim is to guide him down an endless chasm while avoiding metal spikey things scattered intermittently on either side.
If you tap left, green guy hops one step along the left wall; if you tap right, he hops one step along – you guessed it – the right hand side. That’s literally all there is to Foodie Yama in terms of controls.
However, keeping you on your toes, you’re also tasked with collecting food – predominantly bananas, along with more nourishing treats like pineapple and honey and corn.
If you don’t keep the green fella suitably full, the meter along the top will eventually deplete, and it’s Game Over. As such, furiously tapping left and right is very much the order of the day.
And that’s pretty much all there is to Foodie Yama, which means it’s time to talk Pros and Cons. Uhm, after the screenshot.
I was initially quite taken with Foodie Yama, and declared it – in my head at least – one of the best games I’d played in ages, while striving to break the global Top 100. But after a few more runs, Top 100 easily broken, I’d had pretty much all I could take.
See, while Foodie Yama initially feels pretty mental, almost “twitch”-like, it’s actually incredibly sedate. The hunger meter along the top doesn’t go down that quickly, and you’re just as likely to make a mistake out of boredom than anything else. Where’s the challenge, man?
The runs last far too long, too. Ideally, Foodie Yama would embrace the twitchiness head on, with each game lasting in the region of 30 seconds. But nope, you can fully expect to spend several minutes on each run. That’s a really long time when all you’re doing is half-heartedly tapping left, right, left, right, right…
All this could be rectified with the addition of a higher difficulty level, which would take all of three seconds to code. Call me a glutton for punishment, but you shouldn’t be allowed to miss any of those foodstuffs – never mind several in a row.
Oh, and in keeping with the laid back feel, even the lives replenish incredibly quickly, and you can store up to 15 – fifteen – at any one time. As such, the chances of you having to fork out 69p are incredibly slim. A slightly odd complaint, admittedly, but it stinks of laziness. There’s irritating; there’s a happy medium; and way off the scale is Foodie Yama, which – seemingly – can barely be bothered to make money. Weird.
- It’s free with just one, utterly pointless IAP
- Easy to get to grips with
- Good little time killer… at first
- Too easy
- The runs last too long (so to speak)
- The whole thing feels kinda lazy
Summary: Foodie Yama is a potentially fantastic twitch game, but in its current incarnation it’s a twitch game on sedatives, which makes about as much sense as, I dunno, a chocolate teapot.
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.