Thursday, December 25, 2008

Super Stacker

Super Stacker is a very cute, but very simple, puzzle game with a clever design, but not quite enough challenge to make it a really interesting game. In Super Stacker, you're given a bunch of shapes, and a few shapes fixed on the screen. Your objective is to stack all of the given shapes (in the order that they're given to you) on the currently-existing shapes so that they make a stable stack. (Or at least mostly stable -- your stack needs to survive 10 seconds after the last block is stacked, so even if your stack isn't necessarily perfect, sometimes it only needs to be good enough.)

The game shows you the shapes to be stacked at the top of the screen, along with their relative sizes, so you can plan ahead, which is quite important. At the beginning of the game, you only have squares, but rectangles, triangles, and even circles will need to be incorporated into your stack as you pass through the 12 levels. There's no save feature, but all of the levels are pretty quick -- it shouldn't take you more than a couple of tries for any of them, except for the last level, which is a little annoying and not quite in the spirit of the rest of the game; it seems to require luck more than careful planning and positioning as in the rest of the levels.

Graphically, the game has a charming look (it also feels very Japanese; I don't know if that's accurate). Blocks which are resting stably will have content expressions on their faces, while blocks which are in danger of sliding off will look alarmed or horrified. There's not much in the way of sound effects, and the background music, while also rather charming, does get annoying eventually.

Overall, Super Stacker is a short game -- it will probably take you no more than 15 minutes, and it won't be a terribly difficult 15 minutes, either. While it's a cute concept, and not a badly-executed game, there's simply not quite enough puzzle in the game for it to really be engaging. It's fine if you just want to get a quick badge, but it's not a game you'll come back to again and again.

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