Dave, yet again I wonder about your mind.
(And this is coming from a guy who paints poorly assembled cyborgs for fun X3)
I think you might have a keeper here. The effects seem a bit over the top at the moment, though, and it might be interesting to have more of a theme to them. Say, collect 100 porridge, a bowl of fairly good porridge manifests nearby. Fail to collect 25 porridge, bad porridge appears. Die to one boss, spontaneously develop a claw-type wound, die to a higher level boss and a bear manifests nearby, loose all your lives and you get mauled, that sort of thing