Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini
The objective of Stubies is to clear box-headed creatures, also known as stubies, from 4 worlds packed with 60 levels. In order to clear them, players must steer stubies of the same color or type into each other with a quick finger swipe so that they disappear. Clearing earns points, and each level has a goal to reach.
While players work on clearing the set number of stubies, they also must work toward not losing all three stars. Stars are lost when stubies fall off platforms, and it’s game over when all three are lost. On top of all that, letting two different colored stubies collide for too long causes them to turn into solid blocks that don’t move. Players won’t lose stars for this, but it makes it harder to navigate the creatures.
Each world and level brings surprises and new elements to make things more complicated and difficult. New creatures are introduced; like bomb stubies that take out nearby foes when matched, rainbow stubies that create a bonus round, wind-up stubies that take out anything in their spinning path, and even platform stubies that fill platform gaps. Additionally, players will also see new elements like pillars that move and item boxes that can help or hurt players.
While new surprises can be challenging, the real kicker is that the stubies get faster and more chaotic. Since the creatures only move up, down, left, or right, it’s essential to navigate them carefully. Many times they will teeter over the edge and need to be turned around before they fall. Players will also find themselves utilizing the double tap to make some disappear into the ground temporarily to allow others to pass and match quickly. As players advance, each level becomes more difficult than the previous. Thankfully, there are occasional lifelines that help like revives and surprise boxes that clear the creatures from the screen.
While there’s plenty of challenging fun to be had, the disappointment that many players will have with this puzzler is the controls. Since stages can’t be passed unless they are beaten, they may end up getting frustrated at the level of difficulty in the later worlds due to the chaos. When it gets harder to keep up with the flow and more gaps are introduced, accidentally swiping the wrong stubies or using the wrong gesture can be irritating.
Despite this small setback, Stubies is still too fun to pass up on playing. The game is filled with cute characters, bright colors and fun sounds that appeal to gamers of all ages and types. At less then one dollar, players shouldn’t pass up on this unique puzzler because it offers plenty of entertainment and replay value.