Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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I’ve shared my home with many critters during my time on this planet: cats, dogs, rats, hamsters, fish, tarantulas, iguanas, and hermit crabs. And one thing they all had in common (aside from maybe pooping) is that they loved to eat. Then again, I guess most living creatures on this planet do, so that’s not really saying much. In fact, it’s kind of a poor launching point for this review. I don’t know where I was going with this, but suffice it to say, Feeding Time is a game about feeding animals. This is probably why Incubator Games named it such. Because of the animals. And the feeding of them.
At first blush, I assumed Feeding Time was another “match 3” puzzler. I would like to think I could be forgiven for that assumption, as grids of scrambled up icons are pretty ingrained into our unconscious games vocabulary at this point. But that’s not quite how things operate here. The board is surrounded by heads of various animal types, with their theme based on the level (suburban backyards, savannah, tundra). Each critter has a favorite type of food, represented by the icons on the grid. The player’s job is to align these icons into large contiguous batches and feed them to their animal, with the catch being that the icon on the edge starting each chain must line-up with said animal. The rest of the icons then shift in that direction to fill the gap.
Like a great number of puzzle games these days, it sports the requisite rotating goals like “Score X points” or “Feed X animal Y times.” Achieving these earns stars which fill a meter. Filling it all the way allows for a shot at a mini-game to earn more points toward levelling up. Levels bring new power-ups and the gradual unlocking of the game’s other levels.
The whole experience feels rather small, with only three different levels on offer and with each one taking quite a bit of play to finally unlock. The fact that the grid shifts after each combo finishes up makes for some frustration when trying to activate multiple combos at the same time and kind of killed a bit of the excitement for me. Also, the color scheme on the Savannah level felt kind of muddy and could maybe stand some tweaking as the animal/food pairings, while obvious, didn’t leap out from the background the same way they did in the backyard. None of these are deal breakers, but they do limit the appeal just a tiny bit.
Feeding Time doesn’t seem to have quite the same level of depth or addictiveness I usually look for in my puzzle games, but it’s by no means a poor product. The art is colorful, the animal icons have a lot of character, and the whole game sports a very sunny, laid-back vibe. Also, I can respect a game that doesn’t nickel and dime you to death, or plaster every bit of open space or between-game interstitial with intrusive adware. If you’re willing to link to your social media and have friends who play, I could see some score chasers definitely appreciating this one.