Game Rant's Jacob Siegal reviews Fibble HD
Crytek Studios is perhaps best known for either their fast-paced, graphically unmatched first-person shooter series Crysis, or the similarly attractive and award winning Far Cry series. Apparently, in between production on best-seller Crysis 2 and the much hyped Far Cry 3, Crytek decided to make an cutesy action puzzler on iOS. Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll is the result of that production, but is this departure worth your time?
Fibble is a small alien who manages to fall asleep on an intergalactic journey, leaving his UFO vulnerable to an inexplicable soda can orbiting a satellite. His ship comes crashing to earth, where he lands in a quaint suburban home, and now he must find what he needs to repair his ship and leave our planet.
Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll is not an entirely original concept for a mobile game - pull back on Fibble with your finger to build up power, then fling him across the levels, collecting stars and coins along the way toward the exit. The twist comes when Fibble meets up with like-minded alien friends, friends that can help him conquer challenges he would not be able to face alone.
The alien allies are the most unique, enjoyable, and strategic aspect of the game. Crytek has perfected the learning curve in this game by introducing the new concepts each alien friend provides as slowly as possible without dumbing down the mechanics. The first alien Fibble meets is Byte, a tunnel dweller capable of launching Fibble into the air, over small walls and other impediments. The second is Docto, a multi-legged octopus-like creature that can grab hold of Fibble and change the direction he is rolling.
There are two other aliens with nothing better to do than throw Fibble around a board, but they are better left discovered by the player. Once these new modes of transportation become available, the simple flicking and rolling of the beginning levels is no longer enough to reach the end hole - each alien must be used at the correct time to gather all the collectables and achieve a high score.
Not only do the new concepts complicate gameplay, but Crytek has added a tower defense-lite strategy to many of the later levels. Rather than just having your alien friends waiting for you on the boards, you have a selection bar at the bottom of the screen at the beginning of each level with all the available aliens for that course. It is up to you to decide where to put each alien to maximize their usefulness.
Although this is an interesting idea on paper, there is never more than one appropriate way to place the aliens on the board, other than in the four bonus levels. There will certainly be DLC (as evidenced by a blacked-out treehouse on the menu screen) that will likely make these decisions more important, but for now, it is just a waste of ten seconds at the beginning of the levels.
The levels each represent a different environment in a typical household: the kitchen, kid's room, bathroom, and basement. Although each individual level takes place within an enclosed board for the sake of the gameplay, the various objects that are littered around each room manage to weave their way in and out of the boards, creating obstacles for Fibble to avoid.
The most striking aspect of this game, even beyond its addictive gameplay, is the amount of production value Crytek pumped into it. This might be a mobile game, but even on my ancient iPad 2 the story videos are crisp and fluid, the levels are extremely detailed and attractive, and even the characters flick, roll, swing and spin without a hitch. It cannot be overstated how pretty some of the backdrops are in the house. It is worth going back through the levels not only to collect the remaining stars and medals, but to admire the Toy Story-sized world Fibble inhabits.
If you are looking for an addictive, easy pick-up-and-play iOS game, you will not be disappointed by Fibble. The crazy depth of levels in a game like Angry Birds might not be present in Fibble yet, but the content that is there is worth your dollars.
Fibble and Fibble HD are out now on all iOS devices for $1.99 and $4.99 respectively. Game Rant played the HD version on iPad for the review.
Follow me on Twitter @JacobSiegal.