Puzzle games are the jigsaw pieces that bring the whole App Store together. Stubies is a new addition that introduces a new gameplay mechanic that offers up a twist on the typical matching style. Your goal is to match the 3D colored characters that are walking around on screen across 60 levels. You’re given a top down perspective, and you simply swipe to send the Stubies in a different direction. When you match two same colored Stubies, they disappear from the board, but if you stop making matches, the Stubies can start to pile up. If different colored Stubies get stuck into each other, they will freeze together, and provide a blockage on the play field.
What really makes the game stand out from other matching games is that the characters move continuously, rather than just sitting, and waiting for you to match them. It starts out deceptively simple in the beginning, but soon it becomes chaos management with multiple colored Stubies walking around with the potential to run into each other, or walk right into a hole. There’s a three star scoring system like the usual iOS matching game, and you lose stars if any of your Stubies fall into a hole. Soon, the levels have huge gaps, or a checkerboard filled with holes to contend with to greatly add to the challenge. You will need to match a certain number of Stubies per level, and it can be tough to stay on top of all the different ones walking about ready to head into the next danger.
To help you out, there are special Stubies including bombs, spinners, wildcards, platform creators, painters, and more. Each one can offer great help to either make a number of quick matches, clear up the board a bit, or fill in some holes. There seems to be a nuance introduced in every couple of levels adding another element to contend with building upon everything else that has already been introduced. All of the action is delivered through polished 3D graphics with white worlds accented by bright colors. The swipe controls also work very well, as you simply swipe on the head of a Stubie you want to move, though there were a few stutters from time to time. The game does a great job of breaking the mold to offer a new mechanic to think about, and introduce a brand new challenge that is a refreshing change of pace.
Stubies ($0.99, Universal) is a stand out iOS puzzle game that is a perfect match for those looking for new puzzle fun making it a should buy.