Mastertronic is renowned for its budget-priced PC releases. However, the company has now decided to bring one of its most popular series, Super Yum Yum, to Nintendo’s DSiWare download service under the name Super Yum Yum Puzzle Adventures. With so many puzzles games already on the DSi Shop, though, the question has to be whether or not there is room for yet another entry into the bustling genre, especially one priced at the premium 800 Points mark.
Everyone knows Yoshi, the loveable green dinosaur character from Nintendo’s universe who regularly helps Mario out in numerous escapades to rescue Princess Peach. Well, Super Yum Yum Puzzle Adventures introduces players to Leon, a chameleon who also has an extendable tongue similar to good old Yoshi, and has a penchant for munching on various pieces of fruit. Gamers can touch Leon with the stylus and slide the pen towards a piece of fruit in order to eat it, or merely press the ‘A’ button to carry out the same action. Upon consumption, his body colour changes to that of the fruit’s leaves and then only fruit of that particular shade can be swallowed. The top screen shows off a large version of Leon to clearly indicate your current hue, whilst the lower screen not only allows for touch control, but gives the option to go back one move at a time.
This game may look like a simple ‘wander around collect-a-thon’ journey, yet it is in fact an extremely challenging puzzle effort that requires considerable strategy to successfully complete. With a set number of fruit to collect per level, all of differing colours, planning has to go into which piece is eaten first. Merely diving in and chomping down on anything will result in players reaching a dead end quickly since Leon will more than likely be in a coloured state that does not permit him to consume the remaining pieces of fruit. This is why the ‘back step’ function is essential, with players able to keep going right back one step at a time until the very first move, if required.
Movement around stages is extremely simple, with tapping on a location anywhere that is not blocked by obstacles leading to Leon automatically wandering to that designated spot. Those sticklers for old fashioned input methods will be overjoyed at the fact that they can also use the D-Pad to manoeuvre around the various levels, though. When in a specific stage, the full extent of the map can be viewed by holding the stylus on the screen and dragging around to see the entire picture, allowing for meticulous forward planning. It needs to be remember, though, that not everything is on the same plane, with there being ramps to climb up and gaps to cross. Fruit on a different height level to Leon cannot be sucked up and Leon does not automatically jump from one ramp to another. Therefore, a path must be made to reach the correct level, and to cross from ramp to ramp players must place Leon in the right position to stick his tongue out and grab adjacent fruit, which then drags him across the otherwise impassable gaping void.
Collecting standard pears and strawberries is not all there is to a level, though, since Leon will sometimes need to collect his children along the way, as well as eat special red chilli peppers that allow him to eat any coloured fruit. On top of this, there are large pieces that require a certain number of chameleon’s to consume, meaning it is essential to rescue all of Leon’s children at times. When everything has been eaten, or you have collected as much as you think you can at that point, it is time to head to the exit. Once there, the score-board pops up showing how many pieces were collected this time, as well as how many of Leon’s children were picked up along the way. Stages do not have to be 100% completed each time, but in order to progress from world-to-world, a specific number of fruit must have been collected during the adventure. The more children that are in your care by the time a world has been completed will also play a factor in how quickly you can reach the next world, with Leon's children helping out in short mini-games that pop up between worlds.
Super Yum Yum is not a DSiWare-exclusive, with it actually having been around since 2003. It was created by a UK developer called AirPlay, a group that has a wealth of mobile games under its belt, including licensed content such as Sonic at the Olympic Games, ChuChu Rocket, and Sonic Jump for SEGA. AirPlay has had a helping hand from Italian outfit Impressionware, which is working on Ghostwire for the Nintendo DSi, as well as a DSiWare version of its self-published iPhone/PSP Minis game, Vempire.
However, despite this help, and the support from Mastertronic, unfortunately the transition from mobile to DSiWare has not been an entirely smooth one for Super Yum Yum Puzzle Adventures, with it being quite obvious it was not originally developed for the DS format. There are elements of slowdown in the introductory scene, as well as plenty of loading sequences, and the visuals, whilst bright and colourful, are never going to win any accolades, which is a shame since the PC version looks so good and several other DSiWare releases have looked far more polished on the whole.
However, obviously that is not detrimental to the actual game, and what players will find is that Super Yum Yum is very addictive indeed and comes with the useful addition of touch-screen controls. Under that not so attractive hood is a devilishly devious puzzle core that will have people wracking their brains in order to crack. According to AirPlay, more than one million people have played the game in some form or other over the past seven years, so the formula is clearly appealing to the masses, and finds itself perfectly at home on DSiWare, able to stand proud alongside the plentiful supply of puzzle greats on the service. With forty-eight levels to play through, and four save slots for the whole family to join in the antics, Super Yum Yum Puzzle Adventures is well worth the 800 Nintendo Points asking price.
Control of Leon is very simple indeed, which is something that is absolutely essential for what could be a very frustrating experience otherwise. The colour-coded fruit eating core works extremely well and definitely gets players’ minds engaged.
Clean, bright and simple, but obviously not tailored for the DS with some slowdown and loading times throughout.
Decent sound effects, and pleasant music that proves to be inoffensive, but not particularly memorable.
With 48 tough stages to work through across four worlds for a mere 800 Points, Super Yum Yum Puzzle Adventures is great value, offering more than many retail DS releases.
Super Yum Yum Puzzle Adventures is able to stand proud amongst its DSiWare counterparts in the same genre, offering a seemingly basic colour-matching gameplay mechanic, but proving to actually be a deeply engrossing, highly engaging puzzle-strategy piece of entertainment that all DSi owners should try out.