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It’s always interesting to see an established game studio go out on a limb and delve into fresh territory that’s vastly different from its usual status quo. Well-known for making gory, ultra-violent, and intense AAA first-person shooters, Crytek’s first foray into mobile games is a jarringly cutesy, effervescent physics puzzler that’s heavy on the charm and light on the challenge. Though geared towards a younger audience, Fibble HD impresses with its clever gameplay and cool physics engine.
After bumping into space debris and crash landing into a family’s house on Earth, the game’s pint-sized alien protagonist finds himself stranded without his ship or its crew. Each of Fibble HD’s gorgeously designed stages has you flicking the little orange fellow through creatively crafted obstacle courses to collect stars, coins, and keys -- all to unlock the path forward through different areas of the house.
The forgiving but fun physics-driven gameplay is an entertaining blend of mini-golf and pinball, but helpful alien buds found in certain rooms house add a nice puzzle element to the action too. Plunking Fibble’s pals down in specific spots along the playing field lets you tap to trigger special moves that give him a burst of speed, launch him into the air, and even redirect his trajectory.
Finding out where to best place these critters takes some experimentation in the harder levels, but it’s disappointing that it only takes a few seconds to figure out the solution to most stages before diving in to play them out. Fibble HD lacks both challenge and depth, which is a shame since it’s such a polished game in most other respects.
The bottom line. Fibble HD looks great and plays well, but it lacks lasting appeal in the form of content and challenge.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Fun physics-based puzzles. Great visuals and depth-of-field.
Too easy. Over in a few hours or less. Limited tilt controls feel tacked-on, ineffective.