They Need To Be Fed Review

They Need To Be Fed Review

Aug 8, 2011

They Need To Be Fed is a physics-based platformer that just seems to get everything right. It’s got a cool concept, precise controls, excellent graphics and great level design. Just about everything comes together to make this game a real winner.

The core concept has you playing as an odd looking silhouette who must run and jump across platforms while avoiding obstacles only to dive head-first into a hungry monster. Why? Because they need to be fed, that’s why. But a concept is nothing without gameplay, and this game has a lot of it.

Unlike most platform games where gravity is a constant and falling means certain doom, in They Need To Be Fed, gravity is relative to the platform you are closest to. You can never fall “down” because you are always being pulled towards platforms hanging in space. Even as you run and jump while completely upside down, there’s nowhere to fall but towards the closest platform. It can become disorienting, but that’s just half the fun.

Because it’s so easy to become disoriented, one of the things that can be hardest to grasp is trying to remember which way you are running. While upside down, if you forget to run in the right direction, you might run straight into a spike trap, laser beam or any of the other deadly obstacles that litter each level, including floating orbs that kill on contact and auto-turrets that shoot self-guided missiles. However, the game is very careful about not getting you in over your head too quickly.

They Need To Be Fed has a great way of increasing the difficulty by taking previously established ideas about the world and varying them just enough to keep you guessing. For instance, you might have become comfortable with the idea that certain platforms are stable while others constantly rotate, but how do you deal with a platform that only spins while you’re standing on it or vice versa? You have to be careful when timing your jumps and find a way to plan ahead, even when you have no idea what’s coming next. It can get very overwhelming, but it’s worth it for the fun you’ll be having.

As you go through each level, your ultimate goal is to collect enough diamonds to unlock all 7 levels in all 7 worlds. Additionally, there are “x” levels in each world which are absolutely some of the craziest levels in the game and completely worth the effort of unlocking.

My only complaint about They Need to Be Fed is that it’s short. Very short. You can complete every level in about an hour or two. Even with the achievements, I’m left wanting more.

They Need To Be Fed is a lot of fun. It can get frustrating, but without any real punishment for failure, you can just keep on playing and having a great time. For fans of quirky indie games that offer something unusual, I can’t recommend this game enough.


They Need To Be Fed Review Rundown

9
Graphics/Sound - Highly stylish and sophisticated, this game eschews realism for a colorful, abstract design that's a lot of fun. The music is also top-notch, although more tracks would have been welcome.
10
Controls - This is the perfect example of a platform game that gets the controls absolutely right. Tight and reliable, even in the most demanding of situations.
10
Gameplay - Inventive and fun, easy to learn and presenting a heck of a challenge without becoming endlessly frustrating. You get a great sense of accomplishment when you pass a level and feel like you had a great time doing it.
7
Replay Value - Like any good platform game, the levels are just fun enough that you'll want to run through them again, every once in a while. Likewise, the achievements give you a good reason to come back and keep trying. However, the game is short and could use a few more levels to keep the good times going.
9
Overall - They Need To Be Fed is the perfect combination of fun gameplay and cool concept. While it can get a bit awkward and disorienting, it never stops being fun. I had a great time flying through the air like an acrobat and grabbing diamonds while coming to within an inch of death. However, it ends all too soon, and I'm left wanting more.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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