Bottom Line: I like the idea of the child traveling around the world and eating foods from different cultures a lot...but the game itself needs a few upgrades.
In Foodie the Bug, players fling Foodie through the air via slingshot and then control his flight around the world, one level at a time, by tilting the device to move him up and down.
While flying through the air, Foodie eats jelly beans to gain energy and purchases upgrades at a shop. He can also eat items that are power-ups, such as a bag of spicy-hot chips, which cause him to be propelled forward very rapidly, while having to avoid obstacles that slow him down or stop him completely, such as walking mummies in Egypt.
The developers have really put a lot into this app and to get a handle on all of it, the first level really should be a tutorial with a few stop motions and visual explanations for each aspect of the game. It's very hard to keep up with at first. There are a few instruction pages, but they leave a great deal of the gameplay out.
Foodie must fly a certain distance each level within a required time period to advance to the next level. When five levels are complete, the player moves on the next country. Each level also includes parts of 20 ethnic dishes for Foodie to put together as he flies over the different countries, each with its own landscape.
The "recipes" are really the most interesting part of the app for me but it would be nicer if the ingredients were named or the child could learn more about each.
Accomplishments are saved via Gamecenter and can be posted to Facebook and Twitter.
At the beginning of each level, the game resets the tilt control by having the player hold the device still (and centered) for three seconds. I'm not sure why this is necessary each level.
I like the idea of Foodie the Bug...especially a game that includes some learning about different cultures and foods. (I have found one of the ways to get my kids interested in different countries/cultures is through good food.) but I just don't really like the actual gameplay all that much. Between how fast everything happens and the device being tilted (especially on the iPad), any learning potential is really lost. It all just flies by really quickly.
I tested it for a while with E and he liked the idea a great deal but got discouraged because he found it too hard and gave up before finishing the fourth level...and he's a skilled gamer for a seven-year old.
I'm also not a big fan at all of tilt controls. The inclusion of an option for up and down button controls would make a big difference.
Finally, there is a huge spelling error at the start of each level when it shows the player what foods to look for to finish their recipes: "Things you mihgt see." Can't have that.
If you would like to download Foodie the Bug please use the links provided. The cost is the same, but Smart Apps receives a small percentage. Thanks for your support!
This review was written by Ron Engel, who would definitely allow himself to be flung into the air via a giant slingshot if it meant being able to eat 20 different kinds of ethnic food before landing. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.