Feed Me Oil 2 Review

by on January 15, 2014
 

Feed Me Oil 2 shouldn’t be a complex game. Oil, in all its liquidy splendour, comes from point A and it’s your job to move it to point B. I mean, this is literally a job that someone in the world has, moving oil around to where it’s needed.

I suspect that this is the only comparison to reality that can be levelled at Feed Me Oil 2, though. The premise is the first give away: this is not a game that has a great arcing narrative; Angry Birds has more of a story. Instead, a short opening cut scene shows an oil spill in the ocean, before charging you with moving the black gold from an overhead pipe to a catchment zone on a ship, which in true tutorial form has you press the “on” button on the pipe and watch.

The following levels have you guide the black stuff to the “mouths” of various creatures, resembling birds, humans and other animals, made up of pipes, ice and other objects. This is all framework, all you’ll care about is getting 200 units of oil to the end, cursing every wasted drop.

Doing so involves creating a course out of girders that divert the flow, squirt cannons that absorb oil around them before shooting it out, and fans that apply constant pressure in a set direction. Early levels see you using your allowance of pieces to navigate simple obstacles; over a wall that partitions the pipe and the end zone is one example. Feed Me Oil 2 ups the ante though: later levels introduce water in which the oil floats, and switches that turn off electric fences and move partitions.

New tools are gained as you progress through the levels, water-mills that gather and channel the oil in a given direction and ice slides that work as launch ramps, while the levels start combining different obstacles. One later level has water on the top, separated by a grill, with air underneath. To win, you have to shoot oil through the grill down onto a switch, then over a block into the end zone, all with a cannon and two water-mills.

Beyond getting enough oil through the level to pass, Feed Me Oil 2 also marks you on how you did. One star is given regardless just for finishing, with the other two each awarded for leaving a piece of equipment unused. So that example I gave above? It can be done with just one piece (I won’t spoil how).

This is designed to add replayability I’m sure, but it has a few flaws. First off it highlights Feed Me Oil 2’s hint (read microtransaction) system. Showing you how to get a three-star rating will set you back 69p (cheaper when bought in bulk). In fairness, it does offer a new hint free everyday, but why does the game need hints? The levels are easy enough if you use all the available tools, which means you can progress, and while the different worlds (four at the time of writing) do require a certain number of stars to access, I never had to go back over to collect extra stars.

This is perhaps the most damning aspect of Feed Me Oil 2: it’s too easy. Only the final few levels offered more than a couple of minutes distraction, by which point I’d completed 50+ of them. Perhaps I’m being too harsh; it is a bitty mobile game designed for the occasional few levels in a queue or on the loo, but the final levels show that some real teasers were possible. It feels like a missed opportunity.

It is a good looker, though, even on a phone screen, and it would look even better on an iPad. The bright, colourful design is a joy to work with, and all the models are impressively detailed.

VERDICT: Feed Me Oil 2 is a fun, if somewhat unoriginal game. If you like this sort of physics-based puzzler then you’ll enjoy it, but you’ll also know exactly what to expect. The final few levels show some brilliant design, with ingenious solutions to be discovered with the tools you’re given, but it’s only after ploughing through at least 50 levels that you’ll get to see it.

Instead, the developers have appealed to the casual gamer, expected to play the odd level here and there, and to whom difficulty spikes might be a turn off. In doing so, they’ve robbed Feed Me Oil 2 of any real challenge, as well as the right to a hearty recommendation.

6

DECENT. A 6/10 indicates that, while this game could be much better, it still has a fair amount to offer the player. It might be an interesting title sabotaged by its own ambition, or a game denied greater praise by some questionable design choices. Don’t avoid it outright, but approach it with caution.

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Review code provided by publisher.

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