Like the original game, the sequel is unapologetic in its political message, starring the eponymous and health-conscious Frutti Freak in his crusade against the evil fast-food baron Dr. Genarius and his army of genetically-modified foods. The game features family-friendly platform action, with all the trimmings you'd expect - bright, colorful graphics, clever level design, power-ups, and boss fights.
The game is available through the developer's website at: http://www.jochenkaercher.com/casual-game-fruttifreak2.htm
"What I learned from the first game," says Kaercher, "is that this kind of game appeals to a broad audience, ranging from young children, through adult casual gamers, to the sort of retro-hardcore player who grew up playing action games on platforms like the C64. They all love the style of the gameplay, but have very different expectations in terms of difficulty, so a lot of effort went into making this an experience everyone can enjoy."
To this end, the game's 16 large levels are broken down into single-screen areas interconnected by portals, to make it easy to avoid getting lost. Furthermore, Frutti Freak can now take some hits before dying, and these hit points can be replenished by collecting fruit. Gone, too, are the time limits from the original game, so players can explore at their own pace. On the other hand, three difficulty levels have been added, so players seeking a challenge will most certainly find it by playing on Hard mode.
In keeping with these efforts to broaden the appeal of the series, Frutti Freak for Newbies 2 features all-new graphics. Moving away from the nostalgic, intentionally pixellated aesthetic of the original, the sequel now features large, detailed sprites and more modern design values. Arcade game aficionados, meanwhile, will appreciate the addition of joystick/gamepad support.
Other additions include new enemies, bosses and bonuses, all drawing inspiration from real-world concerns over the food we eat, and presented with humor and broad appeal. On their quest for wholesome organic fruit, players will have to deal with mad suckling pigs and killer Hallowe'en pumpkins, as well as terrifying and hilarious beasts like a giant hen who gives birth to pre-roasted chickens. To help Frutti out, the levels are sprinkled with new and amusing power-ups, such as thorny cactus fruits which whirl around him to damage his enemies, and a giant bean which allows him to unleash a mega-fart.
"There's no reason a game shouldn't make a statement," says Kaercher, "as long as you remember that it's a game first and a message second. Healthy eating and ethical farming are very important, and those themes also happen to be a good source of inspiration for funny graphics and character design. In terms of gameplay, the focus has always been on creating a great platform game in the classic style, and that's something everyone can enjoy."
About Jochen Kaercher Gamedesign
Jochen Kaercher is based in Germany and has been developing games since 1999. Having spent several years crafting free and shareware games, he's recently moved on to more complex, commercial titles, aimed specifically at casual gamers.