What do you get when you combine lovable retro-styled arcade graphics with absolutely abominable English localization and translation? HungryMaster, of course! In this innocently adorable, quirky little mobile title, you’re tasked with turning all the monsters you can eat into delicious foods for the diminutive Delica’s tummy. A sequel to developer xionchannel’s popular app ElectroMaster, this embarrassingly cute quickfire arcade-style game is packed with personality and easy-to-learn controls. But, like its patchy English, it still has quite a few kinks to work out before I can call it a must-have.
The premise is simple: change all of the wayward enemies floating around Delica (and kitty Saten) at their humble household into edible treats! To do this you must tap Delica and drag a magical stream around all of the advancing baddies that will subsequently devolve them into sushi, fruits, and candies. Tapping an area on the play area will lead Delica to pick up each food item for points as long as she delivers them back to her house, or what I liked to continuously refer to as my home base.
Collecting as much food as possible nets you more points, as does chaining together combo attacks to “scrub” enemies. Eventually Delica can power up to use more devastating attacks, thus covering more ground and additional onscreen enemies, however, the speed in which you must touch each and every enemy can be more than a little difficult to reach. Often, imprecise controls will have you on the offensive when you really meant to steer Delica in the direction of a few good newly-transformed snacks. This was more than a little frustrating on several counts, and in later stages caused my score (and health points) to suffer. Imprecise touch controls again rear their ugly head!
On the flipside, HungryMaster boasts lush, vivid, and impressive retro-styled graphics that’ll conjure images of some of your favorite pseudo-retro games within the first few minutes of playing. Unfortunately, the anime portraits accompanied by often nonsensical dialogue ruin the entire illusion. The spelling and sentence structure is absolutely atrocious and I couldn’t believe a game would be released with so many glaring errors. The paper-thin narrative is stretched to transparency with these silly mistakes and unintelligible, garbled English in some of the scenes, and though I ate up the style and general gist of the game, I was a little embarrassed sharing the game with friends, who likely thought I was insane for even trying to keep up.
However, grammatical errors and finicky controls aside, I enjoyed my time with HungryMaster enough to investigate the similarly themed ElectroMaster (riddled with the same English issues) and spend several hours with both titles. I wouldn’t recommend them for gaming over long periods of time, but as I often suggest with many iOS games, definitely play this one in short bursts to maximize your enjoyment. At 99 cents, it’s certainly a workable little diversion to help you pass the time, and who doesn’t love a fun retro throwback now and then?