Crytek Studios is best known for realistic, bloody shooting games like Far Cry and, of course, Crysis. Fibble, a physics-puzzle game for iOS, is the studio’s first attempt at something a little more casual, and a little gentler. Let it now be known that Crytek is capable of more than ultra-realistic renditions of war and conflict: it’s also pretty good at choreographing adorable cutscenes of alien friends reuniting with heartfelt hugs.
Fibble is a rotund little alien whose spaceship is knocked off course by a pop can that’s hurtling through the void (astronauts, let this be a lesson not to throw your garbage out the windows). Fibble is forced to crash-land on Earth, and he’s separated from his buddies in the chaos. He comes to in a typical earthling house, but being a very small alien, regular household objects suddenly appear to be very large. Fibble must roll his way from room to room, collecting coins, stars, and (eventually) his friends.
Flashbacks to Mousetrap.
Fibble is a pretty standard physics-based puzzle game, but each stage’s narrow, maze-like corridors and hole-shaped goal will remind you of another pastime: miniature golf. You ‘pull’ back on Fibble to slingshot him, and he uses that momentum to roll from place to place. He collects coins, which up your score, as well as stars, which are necessary for unlocking future levels. You’re also rewarded according to how many times you pull back on Fibble– or don’t pull back, as the case may be. Ideally, you want to get through each level with one ‘flick.’ If Fibble runs out of steam mid-roll, you have a few precious seconds to tilt your iOS device in hopes of getting him rolling again.
This is where Fibble’s rescued pals come in handy. If he rolls into the many arms of Docto, for instance, he can get a speed boost in any direction. If he gets close to Byte, who’s seemingly an under-dweller, Byte can help him jump to higher planes courtesy of his manhole cover. There are four alien friends in all, and they’re pretty gosh darn cute. In many cases, more than one friend shows up in a single level, and it’s up to you to place them in a way that will properly aid Fibble with his star-collecting routine.
Right on track.
Fibble may sound like a complex game, but in all honesty, it has a pleasant, middle-of-the-road challenge. The title should especially appeal to casual players who might feel intimidated by the coarse difficulty of many physics-based puzzle games on the App Store.
Its graphics are a big draw, too. The environments are richly detailed and vibrant, bringing new life to common household objects and locations. The trade-off is some often-lengthy loading times, and a large game download.
Fibble isn’t an especially original physics puzzler, and its digestible challenge level means that genre veterans will blaze through the game in no time. Even so, it’s fun to play through. Just think of the game as a gift from a particularly friendly alien who wants to be your best bud.