Puzzle games seem to be all the rage lately, especially when it comes to mobile gaming and I believe it is because they’re the most accessible, they’re easy to pick up and quick to put down when necessary, they’re basically everything that is good about portable gaming and the people over at Chillingo seem to know a good title when they see one. Feed Me Oil 2 is a sequel that has been long awaited by many puzzle-lovers and mobile gaming-enthusiasts, and it seems as though it has returned just as good as ever. It sticks to the classic system and all around art style that made the first game such a hit, although there doesn’t seem like a huge change; why fix what isn’t broken?
Feed Me Oil 2 basically plays the same as the first one but, for those of you who have played neither, I’ll take you through it bit by bit: You’re put onto different stages wherein which you must get a large amount of oil from one side of the stage to an empty and usually small hole somewhere within the stage, it’s not always on the other side of the level, it may be right under where the oil spout is but that’s where the puzzle comes in. You’re given a few different items that you can place throughout the stage to help lead the stream of oil to where it needs to be, items like long clock pieces, fans and small cannons all work to redirect the oil. If you’ve read my previous iOS game reviews you’ll know that I happen to love when a game is simple and easy, especially if it is for mobile device, yet keeps you entertained with a type of difficulty that is determined only by how well you think in puzzle situations and Feed Me Oil 2 seems to get it right on the nose. Simple, easy and challenging. This probably goes without saying but I think the level designs are great and very clever, half the credit goes the aesthetics of it (which I will talk about a little later) and the other half goes to the actual layout of obstacles for a player to overcome; some of them are quite obvious and some of them really make you think.
The game also has a star rating, the better you complete a level the better star rating you get, each level has three stars to obtain and getting the stars unlocks more levels for you so it gives you some incentive to actually go through the stages and do well rather than just rush through. There’s a help system in the game wherein which a small hand pops up on the screen and moves one of the items into the spot that it “should” be placed, this is to help in situations where you are utterly stuck, you cannot do it often but that was fine with me because I had a bad experience with the help option. When I actually used the hint option to move a piece of equipment around the stage it actually didn’t work properly, the little hand came out and moved a piece of equipment but when the oil started to flow it totally missed where the helping hand had put it, what makes it worse is that the piece was then locked in place forcing me to exit out of the level and re-entering and, while that doesn’t seem like a big deal, it DID get rid of one of my hint uses so I wasn’t too happy about that.
The game has an odd aesthetic style to it that, although incredibly weird, does remind me of old children’s books where the environments are almost living though in the games case it seems as though the environments actually are living. Environments constantly move though they don’t move to get in your way or to disrupt the game, it works to show that the levels are more than just flat images and I think it was done nicely. A lot of the levels you play through are very soft-looking and very well designed, they’re anything but basic and they work to a nice degree. All the environments are extremely colourful and vibrant yet are designed in a very Tim Burton-esque vibe to it all, it works though because the whole theme of the game deals with the effects of oil within areas that cannot contain it…at least, that what it seems like. The physics of the actual oil hitting walls and sloshing over small bumps looked absolutely fantastic.
I actually didn’t quite mind the music within this game though I have to say it did get a little bit annoying after the fiftieth time I heard the song and it’s slight variations. The great thing about the music was how it fit within the visual style of the game, just playing the game while hearing the music and taking note of the environments allows you to see that they all kind of fit together like puzzle pieces. The music is very light-hearted, the best way I can describe it is like a slow country track, it doesn’t force you to speed through the game or anything, it actually encourages you to take your time with a level which is nice. I never thought I’d enjoy the sound of a banjo but I guess we learn something new about ourselves everyday. There really wasn’t much to the audio aspect of this game, there were the sounds of the oil splashing around the stage but apart from that it seemed like it was just the music which I’m not saying is a bad thing because it didn’t necessarily need it but I still think it couldn’t have hurt.
What else can I say about Feed Me Oil 2? It’s a great little game that has some fantastic looking level designs and an art style that’s quirky, different and makes for some nice environments. The game is easy to pick up and play without a second thought and it’s just as easy to put it down and pack it away once you’re done for a session, perfect for travelling and perfect for filling in time while waiting on something else but I’ll still say it’s a kind of game that you can sit there and get into even though I’m not the type of person to do so I can imagine others would. There are little things that this game could have done better but I can’t honestly say it took that much away from the full game, it’s just little things that you notice throughout the game. All in all it is a fantastic title that a lot of puzzle-lovers will really enjoy and for $2.99 there really isn’t much to loose.
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