Rise and jump, good bacteria
GAME: Hello Yogurt by Load Complete
GENRE: Arcade, casual
PLATFORMS: Android, iOS
Over the years, I’ve seen several games being marketed as fun media of education for children and adults alike. Hardly have I ever come across educational games that are fun or vice-versa. Hello Yogurt manages to be a bit of both.
Of all the things you could be, you play as a bacterium! More specifically, the Lactobacillus. The game taught me that Lactobacillus is the good bacteria in yogurt that helps improve immunity. The story follows Dr Mechnikov, the scientist known as the father of natural immunity, on his discovery of the Lactobacillus. You control the cute bacterium on its journey from the mouth to the intestines.
The gameplay is based on a single tap. The little bacterium hops ahead on its own, and you can tap to jump farther. But the insides aren’t friendly territory for a new microbe, so you must tap at the right time to avoid obstacles. Entering through the mouth, down the throat and to the stomach, your goal is to reach the intestines alive. Each area is short and takes only about a minute to cross. On reaching a new location, you get completely new visuals and new obstacles. These areas are hilariously themed — for example, at one point you encounter chocolate in the stomach because the doctor had eaten some! Progressing is fun because you’re always curious to see the new area and try its new challenges.
Hello Yogurt is well polished in terms of graphics, music and theme. Managing to make bacteria look cute speaks for the art quality. According to the game (and not necessarily actual science), the bacterium is weak at first and loses health just by travelling in the body. So you spend the coins and evolve into a stronger bacteria that lasts longer and goes further inside the body. Ads are not irritating and completely optional, and I even felt inclined towards watching them for more coins.
Like Dr Mechnikov bettering his Lactobacillus, Hello Yogurt could have been better in some ways. The core action of jumping, even though straightforward, is not exactly simple to execute. Figuring out when to and when not to jump is a slightly complex decision. When your microbe is running on its own, keeping on making these decisions needs a lot of focus and can easily get tiring. It’s like driving down the road while solving maths problems, although simple, in your head. The game even allows you to go faster, but the moment you do so, you hit an obstacle because you simply can’t make those decisions faster.
VERDICT: Hello Yogurt is a delightful game to play and learn from. Apart from being a well-polished game that is fun, it managed to give me some knowledge without ever feeling like it was teaching me biology. Although, the core action of jumping could have been simpler, it wasn’t — and that seriously hampered my playing it mindlessly. Only because of that, do I rate it seven out of 10.