Super Feed Me (lost build of unreleased iOS sequel of Flash game; 2009-2012)
Super Feed Me is an unreleased 2009-2012 iOS puzzle-adventure game developed by Nitrome Games Limited. It was a sequel to the 2006 Adobe Flash game Feed Me, and was meant to be the developers' first smartphone game.
The game's plot would have involved the Venus Flytrap escaping from captivity. The flytrap controls the same as in Feed Me; bound to its pot, being able to move by extending its neck to bite onto the ground and/or items, dragging the pot with itself as the neck shrinks back. Gameplay has noticeably improved from the Flash original, with better physics, graphics and new abilities for the flytrap, like being able to throw items. The game's website promises "epic landscapes teeming with enemies, traps and wildlife," boss battles and unlockable secrets. Not much else about the gameplay is known, but from available footage, level types include the classic greenhouse from Feed Me, a giant beehive, a desert, and a sewer area. The trailer's ending also shows the ability to grow two heads.
The game's development started in September 2009, officially revealing the game during the Flash Gaming Summit on March 2010. Despite being at the summit, the game was actually coded using Objective-C. Mat Annal (Nitrome's founder) also stated that, among other things, the reason for creating a sequel for Feed Me instead of Nitrome's more popular games was because of the already touchscreen-friendly controls, as opposed to their platformer games which would require a virtual D-pad on the screen.
Despite the announcement being a huge success, problems arose shortly after, first with Apple asking to promote the game despite the developers not having a functional demo at the time, leading them to try rushing out a demo.
[Apple] said: "We've seen Super Feed Me. It looks really interesting. Is it possible that we could give it a try and we might consider it for coverage, if it plays as good as it looks?" At the time we were like: "Ah crap, we don't really have [anything]." Like, we put together just enough of the bits of levels to actually make the trailer, so you could swing twice and be out of the level, do you know what I mean? Also, in terms of gameplay, some bits were great and others needed a lot of work. So, there was no way we were going to let anyone try it, and there was no way that we could comfortably sit down and make it into something they could try within a short space of time. It was a very uncomfortable time, because I tried to get a programmer to work on it a bit longer and he had kinda fallen out with it. It just got to the point where that probably wasn't a good idea in retrospect. -Mat Annal
The game was originally aimed for a 2010 release, but the date eventually fell through and Nitrome's website stayed dormant about the subject. The silence was broken on May 31st, 2011, when an update video was posted on YouTube explaining the game's status. The large amount of people assigned to work on the game, as well as the lack of organisation stalled the Flash game releases, thus hurting Nitrome's revenue as the Flash games were their main source of income at the time. The game was therefore put in limbo while looking for dedicated iOS developers to finish it. The possiblity of a Flash promotional demo of the game was also thrown around during the video.
The game's website was updated on July 17th, 2012, officially changing the game's status to shelved/on hold. This was done so Nitrome could shift focus to another attempt at an iOS game, Icebreaker: Viking Voyage, based off the Icebreaker Flash game series; making sure to take the time planning out the game as opposed to Super Feed Me.
Icebreaker: Viking Voyage was released on June 20th, 2013 to critical acclaim, despite fans still asking for Super Feed Me. Apple also kept pestering Nitrome about the game; when Viking Voyage was first submitted onto the App Store, Apple replied that "the game's great, but we're still holding out for Super Feed Me." Nitrome has since expressed annoyance with the game, with the phrase "where's Super Feed Me?" becoming an inside joke on its Facebook page, as well as regret for announcing the game while it was just 20% complete at the time.
The game's status has gone back-and-forth since the shelving, with a now-deleted Facebook comment calling the game "cancelled in its current form," albeit not ruling out coming back to the idea. It has been stated that, if Nitrome were to come back to the game, they would have to "upgrade and improve it in every way" for their current quality standards; meaning that the original version of the game would be lost regardless. Additionally, the game would also be ported to Android.
Since the shelving, no IPA file of the game has resurfaced online, and considering how Apple has ended support for legacy 32-bit apps on iOS, it would most likely not work on newer devices. The Flash promotional demo mentioned in the update video was certainly never worked on, either. As of February 2020, Nitrome has not considered revisiting the game, despite its website still being online.
Latest mention of the game by Nitrome, courtesy of /u/barfyface on Reddit.
- Nitrome Wiki page on Super Feed Me (contains outdated info). Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- The game's official website. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- Nitrome's first blog post about the game. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- Blog post describing the 2010 Flash Gaming Summit. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- An update video about the game, explaining the development challenges. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- TouchArcade forum post about Super Feed Me. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- PocketGamer article about Icebreaker: Viking Voyage, which mentions Super Feed Me. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- TouchArcade forum post about Icebreaker: Viking Voyage. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- Nitrome's Facebook comment stating that Super Feed Me was just 20% complete at the time of the trailer. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- A comment from Nitrome's /r/NintendoSwitch AMA, which mentions Super Feed Me. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- Jon Annal explaining Super Feed Me's status in 2014. Archived 12 Apr '12
- Nitrome's tweet about an Android version of Super Feed Me. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- Wired article about Apple discontinuing 32-bit apps on iOS. Retrieved 15 Feb '20
- /r/Nitrome post about the game. Retrieved 15 Feb '20