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iPhone  header logo

Stickets

For: iPhone

Stick or twist

Product: Stickets | Developer: Wanderlands | Publisher: Wanderlands | Format: iPhone | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1.1
 
Stickets iPhone, thumbnail 1
Just when you thought developers had finally run out of interesting new twists on the match-three genre (sticking an RPG system on no longer counts), along comes a fresh take.

Stickets doesn't scream originality at you, and it won't redefine your expectations for iOS puzzlers or anything so dramatic.

But it is a subtly innovative take on matching up coloured blocks.

Sticket to me

We've seen Stickets's stylishly minimalistic abstract presentation before on a number of occasions (Async Corp. springs to mind), but it's the way it subverts the usual match-three formula that makes it stand out.

In fact, Stickets really doesn't play much like a match-three puzzler at all. Getting rid of blocks really isn't the aim of the game - it's survival by way of space-management.

You must keep placing three-block clusters - all of which are the same right-angled shape but in one of four possible orientations - on a cramped 5x5 board. Each cluster is made up of one yellow, one blue, and one red block.

Placing three or more of any one colour together allows you to remove these sections, thus freeing up space for you to continue.

Match point


Every cluster you place adds a point to your score, and you keep going until you make a mistake or your luck runs out. Unusually, Stickets doesn't get any more difficult or easier. It's always you against yourself.

There are no power-ups, level gimmicks, or any other changes in your environment beyond an optional change of skin and two additional, unlockable modes (though the original really is best).

When you slip up, it's usually through your own lack of planning or intelligence. There are basic strategies to formulate, but there's also the persistent feeling that luck plays an inordinate part in your success, largely because you're at the whim of the four rigidly set playing pieces and how they regenerate.

Ultimately, it often feels like you're simply attempting to minimise the risk of failing - stacking the odds a little more in your favour - and this vague but unshakable sense of powerlessness robs the game of some of its long-term appeal.

Still, we're all for fresh ideas in the over-saturated puzzler genre, and Stickets is well work checking out if you feel the same.
 
Stickets
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 5 June 2013
Stickets is a quietly accomplished and fresh puzzler, though its somewhat narrow focus limits its long-term appeal
 
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