What does an experience have to offer before we can classify it as a game? A sense of progression, perhaps, or overarching goals? Maybe it's the sensation that success is predicated on player skill.
OmNomster has a scarcity of all these qualities. It can boast cutesy character designs, jaunty music, and charming customisation options, but it still doesn't feel much like a game.
Instead, it feels more like a toy with a monetisation model attached.
In each round of OmNomster, your aim is to gobble up the garbage that floats across your screen. But rather than tapping the trash, or leading your titular terror around the screen with gestures, you'll shake your device to move the OmNomster towards his grub.
Accelerometer-driven control schemes have always required considerable polish and finesse to deliver satisfying gameplay, and OmNomster simply doesn't have what it takes in this department.
Instead, you bounce around the screen almost at random, nudging your character in vaguely the right direction and hoping that luck smiles upon your endeavours. The springy physics are fun, but OmNomster's lack of substance quickly becomes apparent.
And once three pieces of trash escape the screen un-munched, it's game over. Your high score is recorded on the online leaderboards for posterity, and you're dumped back to the main menu.
How they getcha
You can help your high core chances with a handful of power-ups, but once your burn through your initial supply you'll have to spend in-game currency to acquire more.
And while OmNomster's basic gameplay seems to be aimed at the most casual of players, its grindy monetisation model demands either hours of dedication or cold hard cash in exchange for the most meagre rewards.
So, the in-game store offers power-up refills and cosmetic enhancements at prices that would require hundreds of rounds of OmNomster.
Seeing the ravenous blob in a top-hat and moustache may raise a smile, but the pricing strategy seems tuned to extracting cash rather than satisfying players. It's particularly galling given the upfront cost OmNomster is already asking for, and it's hard to imagine many players will take the developer up on these offers.