Considering all the derivatives of farming and pet-caring games launching on Facebook these days, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Feed the Rocker, a new game from indie developer Red Aphid Games, has made another follow-on.
Refreshingly enough, it’s actually a physics oriented puzzle game that tasks users with feeding a starving artist in the most peculiar of ways. Apparently, the musician character who stars in the game doesn’t like to use his hands when he eats, so you must place various musical instruments — of the rock variety, of course — in order to guide a stream of falling food pellets, donuts, and the occasional guitar pick into his mouth.
We doubt that many other developers have thought of this theme.
With each level more and newer varieties of instruments become available, but the catch is that they all come at preset angles. What makes it tricky is that players only have a few seconds to figure out how best to use the items before the food starts falling. Once in position, the food will bounce off the pre-placed, angled objects fairly accurately. This is all well and good, but a nice bit of style is thrown in as each bounce creates a nice sounding rock note that is distinct to the object being hit. For example, a bass guitar will produce a few bass notes, while an electric guitar a nice rift.
Of course, this is a bit simple for a puzzle game, so as users progress, levels become gradually more difficult. Typically, this is done by objects in the stage itself and can range from moving objects that you have to block (one such example is a rolling ball that will “choke” your rocker if you don’t stop it, and no food will be able to enter their mouth), to moving walls that can hinder your path, to wobbling and rocking platforms that alter your physics. Each stage offers its own unique challenge and actually ramps up in difficulty fairly well.
In addition to the level itself changing, players are also granted more and different objects to place that can help them as well. This includes flat vertical shapes that simply catch food pellets and virtually halt momentum, to guitars you can move freely without collision being removed, to just simply amusing elements, such as more cowbell.
On the social end of the spectrum, Feed the Rocker is a bit basic. The biggest social element it has is the prospect of gifting guitar picks. As players play each level, the occasional pick will fall, and should they get it into the mouth, they’ll be able to save it to their collection. This is a nice addition, and if players gift them to friends they earn what is called “Karma” towards their profile (this also is gained by accepting gifts it seems). Unfortunately, all Karma really does is move you up in a global leaderboard dubbed “Most Enlightened,” which only displays the top five anyway.
Frankly, the social element feels a little shallow. Granted, it is nice to share your picks to try and help others complete a collection, but there isn’t actually a means to see everything that can be collected, so you never know who needs what. Basically, you’re just sending them for the sake of sending them most of the time, just to earn a stat that is no more than just a number.
As far as other elements of this app goes, there are not a whole lot of complaints. It has a fairly realistic looking style to it, but considering the purposefully absurd concept of the game, the combination is odd. Nonetheless, it does have a nice progression curve to it, with the harder puzzles correlating to bigger and better gigs. Moreover, there are 26 different levels as well, so even trying to play straight through all of them will take a little while; especially as you will not get every puzzle on the first try.
Overall, Feed the Rocker is one of the better indie games we’ve seen. That said, it’s not a completely original title, as such physics games tend to be very popular on the smartphone platforms, but at the very least, it’s not another farming app.