When you're a kid, your parents will often tell you that you can only have your dessert once you've eaten every last mouthful of your dinner.

Even if it's an enjoyable main course, this can prove to be torture for an impatient young 'un.

In a similar fashion to your mum, the masterchef behind They Need To Be Fed 2 tantalisingly tempts you with a flavourful dessert that packs a considerable kick, only to make you sit down at its table and force a decent meal down your gob first.

We've eaten here before

This is a sequel to the 2010 platformer They Need To Be Fed, and we're not being controversial when we say that this is more of the same. The developer - sorry, chef - even says as much on the game's App Store page.

This means seven colourful worlds of running and jumping around a series of simple geometric shapes, each of which has its own centre of gravity.

Take a running jump off a circular planetoid, and you'll orbit it until gravity pulls you back in. You'll have seen this mechanic employed in a number of other iOS games, but it's still great fun to pull this manoeuvre off.

Unfortunately, the virtual direction controls in They Need To Be Fed 2 are never quite instinctive enough. There are separate virtual keys for moving clockwise and anti-clockwise that are just fine when properly oriented, sure.

But when they're flipped upside down, you can expect to experience a number of needless deaths as your brain fails to make the requisite split-second adjustment.

Fed up

Another issue here is that the gameplay is extremely similar to the first title, especially early on. Familiar elements such as rotating platforms and hazardous spikes make repeat appearances, alongside lasers and speed-boosting chilli plants.

They Need To Be Fed 2 is an entertaining 2D platformer, but it's one we've seen before. Even the graphics are pretty much identical to the first game (though, admittedly, they are still lovely to behold).

It's not until you've completed the seven worlds, along with the special 'X' levels that open up at that point, that the game gets a little more interesting.

Epic win

At this juncture, you see, you get to play through a mirrored, twisted version of each level in Epic mode. Here, the checkpoints are removed, platforms have the nasty tendency of exploding permanently, and there are new knick-knacks to collect.

This presents you with a stern challenge, which will require numerous restarts on your part. Epic mode ends up being a more intense and rewarding experience than the main game - though those control issues are exposed even more here.

We wouldn't exactly describe the experience of having to play through the main game first as 'painful', but we would have appreciated earlier access to Epic mode nonetheless.

Bit Ate Bit serves up a number of well-cooked, beautifully seasoned platforming dishes for you to consume in They Need To Be Fed 2. If you're after that exotic dessert, mind, you'll have to swallow every last mouthful of the main course first - and you can expect a few dropped eating implements along the way.