The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Many successful mobile games follow a similar format. Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, Where’s My Water, and plenty more feature dozens of bite-sized levels that can be completed in brief sessions (making them perfect for on-the-go gaming). Stick To It follows this same format, but it offers an extremely simple control method that I haven’t seen before. Guiding an orange blob named Spike to his mother is the objective in each stage, and you are never required to do more than touch anywhere on the screen.
Holding your finger down on the touchscreen causes Spike to stick to whatever surface he’s currently connected to. You start by simply guiding him down inclines, but new elements get introduced fairly quickly while playing through the four worlds. Bouncy surfaces, conveyor belts, and rotating objects begin to appear, and they all make the journey to your mother a bit more complicated.
Games like Cut The Rope and Where’s My Water force you to practice timing, and Stick To It focuses far more on this aspect of gameplay than it does on figuring out puzzles. It almost becomes a platformer of sorts, tasking you with hitting a bouncy surface at the right angle to send you into your mother’s arms.
Simply beating each level isn’t very difficult, but you can’t be reckless if you want to get a star. Each stage has one star that’s up for grabs, and you have to complete it within a certain number of “sticks” to earn it. It’s a nice touch, and it encourages you to examine each course before you begin.
Unfortunately, examining each course is easier said than done. Some stages are too large to fit on one screen, so they scroll vertically. These stages will begin with a pan of the entire area, but the view is fixed once the pan is complete. Since any touch of the screen makes Spike stick, there’s no way to pan down or up once the level has begun. It isn’t an issue on most stages, but can be frustrating on some of the larger ones.
Stick To It is a fun experience, but it ends quickly and tends to be on the easy side of things. It won’t be much of a test of your problem-solving or platforming skills, even if you are trying to get the star on each level. Despite this, you can do worse if you’ve got $1.99 to spare and are looking for a breezy and cute iOS title.