While The Disney Channel has long dominated the live-action, tween-targeted television space, with titles like Hannah Montana, Nickelodeon has made great strides over the past few years. Titles like Big Time Rush, iCarly and Victorious have buoyed the cable network as a must watch channel for that much coveted demographic of 8-13 year old kids. Starting a year after Hannah Montana, iCarly has grown from a quirky little comedy series to a full on phenomenon featuring everything from party decorations to music albums to video games and the latest one is developer Wayforward’s iCarly: Groovy Foodie!
iCarly is not a show that I would have ever sat down to watch if it not for my oldest daughter (who is co-reviewing this with me) as I generally do not have an hankering for watching preteen girls perform ridiculous antics. However, after having watched a few episodes I was drawn in by the surprisingly high quality writing, tinged with enough adult humor to keep me entertained. Still coming into iCarly: Groovy Foodie! I was not sure what to expect. But I certainly was not expecting what I got.
At its core, Groovy Foodie! is a modified version of the classic arcade game Tapper. The game tasks Carly and her best friend Sam with preparing food and feeding customers as they make their way through the serving line. Why Carly and Sam are doing this, being as they host a web show that is not about food (generally), is explained in a brief bit of text at the beginning of the game. Ultimately, the why does not really matter, just the how of the gameplay.
As mentioned previously the game is a modified version of Tapper, featuring five stages, modeled after iconic locales from the show, with five levels each. Before each level players must pick five items from the menu (as the game progresses more items unlock), each item takes a particular amount of time to prepare and serves customers in a different way. For example the hamburger is quick to make and serves one serving but the ham takes longer but serves two.
While the core concept is pretty simplistic as the game progresses customers become more demanding forcing players to be quick both mentally, in choosing menu items, and physically with the stylus. As such, Groovy Foodie! can become quite challenging, as arcade style games like this tend to be. Still I found the title to be a lot of fun and because of how quickly levels take to complete, I found it to be a perfect mobile game.
4 / 5
My oldest daughter is a big iCarly fan and she initially was very excited at the prospect of getting to play an iCarly game on her DS. Much like I was not expecting what the game delivered, I think she felt the same thing but from a different perspective.
I left the title on my desk for her to play while I was out and she took to it eagerly but the report from my wife was that she quit playing after about a half an hour citing that the game was very hard. Having not been exposed to arcade style games such as this before, that information was not overwhelmingly surprising. However, she gave it another shot and being something of a smart cookie was able to figure out the gameplay strategy, ultimately ending up liking it.
When asked to tell me what she enjoyed about the game she first cited the fact that the levels were set in locales she knew from the show and being able to control Carly and Sam, somewhat indirectly. She enjoyed the funny achievements the game dishes out as well as being able to buy stuff from the game store with the credits she collected while playing. But she seemed most excited about vanquishing hamsters and “defeating” T-Bo in the “boss” stage of the first level.
Because of her familiarity with the television series and that the game offers positive reinforcement for playing, I think Groovy Foodie! Is a game that she will continue to come back to for quite some time.
5 / 5
Groovy Foodie! may not be much more than a clone of an old arcade title but the gameplay is still solid enough that the license, very much targeted at tweens, won’t be a turn off to adults. Likewise the license will be reason enough for younger gamers to keep plugging away at the title, despite it probably being different from everything else they have ever played. Because of that iCarly: Groovy Foodie! is the best of both worlds, a rare game that can appeal to both adults and children for very different reasons.
- Modified Tapper gameplay is excellent.
- Setting and characters are appealing to fans of the series.
- Gameplay gets quite fast and very difficult quickly, which may be a turn off for younger gamers.
- Really not much more than a Tapper clone.
4 / 5