Here’s a little something that slots firmly in the middle. Meet Stubies, a game that’s completely and utterly… fine.
Developed by the indie chaps at Creatiu Lab, Stubies is part match game, part Lemmings. Too young to remember Lemmings? It was all the rage in the early nineties, and essentially tasked you with guiding little rodents who would otherwise continue walking in a straight line, often towards certain death.
Stubies is kind of similar, but instead of guiding the little guys toward a goal, you want to match pairs of colours, be they blue, red, green, orange or whatever.
Set across four worlds and 60 levels, Stubies hazards include holes in the middle of the playing area, and sheer drops around the edges.
Now that would be incredibly dull if that was all there was to it, but fortunately there’s lots more going on in Stubies.
For starters, you can double tap on Stubies to make them drop into the ground. Say, you have two greens marching towards each other and an irksome pink in the middle, just double tap the latter and hey presto! Matching greens.
You also have Stubies with bombs on top. You can either pair them with matching colours for a normal match (a plain old green and a green bomb, say), or combine two bombs - any colour - for a big explosion.
It’s a similar story with the multicoloured Stubies. They can be matched with any old colour, but pair two multicoloured Stubies and you’ll enter a Bonus mode where all Stubies become multicoloured, allowing you to quickly rack up points.
Phew. There are a couple of other elements to consider, but you get the idea. Each level ends when you hit the target score, while it’s Game Over if you lose three Stubies.
Ok, so, problem the first: Stubies just isn’t much fun to play. Even taking the various gameplay elements above into consideration, it feels a tad sterile; there’s no charm.
Furthermore, it can be incredibly difficult, and it feels more like a game of luck than skill since the Stubies appear randomly each time.
Generally, in the later levels, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed, struggling to deal with the various colours and obstacles, and you should be prepared to play some levels several times over.
Of course, you could always pay 99p to £2.99 for Revive packs, which essentially allow you to continue, or £1.49 to £7.99 for Stubies Gurus, which are, like, super-powered or something.
The very fact that these in-app purchases exist gives credence to the notion that the difficulty is almost unfair towards the end. Why persevere when you can pay to win? Or maybe I’m just being cynical.
Indeed, Stubies has an average 4.5/5 rating on the App Store, so don’t be put off by my rambling. And heck, it’s only 69p.
- Semi-interesting concept
- 60 levels
- It’s only 69p
- Just feels a bit… dull
- Really hard towards the end
- In-app purchases
Summary: Stubies has been tearing it up on the App Store charts, so maybe my expectations were too high. Personally, I found it quite uninspiring and repetitive, but - to be fair - it’s far from terrible.
Developer: Creatiu Lab
Price: 69p @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.