Developer: Ezmobo Corp.
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
iBBQ - Fire It Up is a Japanese grilling game for the iPhone. It is a strange but intriguing premise for a game. Developer EzMoBo warns that iBBQ will make you extremely hungry!
Playing iBBQ is not entirely intuitive. Because the voiceovers are in Japanese, I feel like I am missing vital information that would help me to enjoy playing and maximize my scores.
Here is what I do know about iBBQ: You have a grill, and raw food that you are supposed to cook for a certain amount of time on each side. You can tap the food to flip it over or flick the iPhone like a griddle to flip the grill. Blowing in the iPhone's microphone increases your flame. To complete each piece of BBQ, you put it in the dipping sauce.
What gets confusing with iBBQ - Fire It Up is exactly how the scoring works or what makes you pass or fail a level. The tone of the voice and amount of points hint at satisfaction or disappointment which helps you to know if you grilled something perfectly, too long or not enough, but I have no idea what the voices are saying. It seems good barbecue gets a response from a woman, such as a happy “mmmmm…,” versus a man’s disapproving Japanese phrase when the food is cooked improperly. I also could not distinguish what allowed me to put more than one item onto the grill sometimes but not other times.
I am not sure how I passed Level I and II while playing iBBQ but not Level III. I think I ran out of time or did not grill enough food in the allotted one minute and fifty seconds. Each level takes a little too long to complete; shorter, more competitive playtime and better instructions would help keep my interest. I got a little bored with iBBQ so I never found out how many more levels there are beyond Level III.
Despite its shortcomings, I do like iBBQ. I can honestly say that I have never grilled Japanese-style BBQ on my iPhone until now. iBBQ made me laugh, and it did make me hungry, but I would not call it fully satisfying. iBBQ is more of a novelty than anything else, and it left me hungry for something more substantial. iBBQ - Fire It Up is currently on sale in the iTunes store for $1.99.