Review: Stackup


Do you have an eye for precise positioning? Do you have reactions for tight timing? Then you might like today's review of Stackup, which challenges your timing skills to build an ever higher house of cards. Think you have what it takes to keep your tower from teetering over? Then read on!

Author: Softrox

Version Reviewed: 1.3

Buy Link | Download / Information Link

Despite sounding like a physics simulation, Stackup is actually a game of timing, and more importantly... patience.

The object of the game is to create a stack of cards as high as possible. You start with a set of four pairs of cards, which are moving side to side across the screen. As soon as you hit the button to fix them in place, you advance to the next row above, and have another set moving from side to side, which need to be positioned on top of the last set.

Fortunately, there are brief instructions about how to play, along with a donation link

As you stop the cards in each successive row, you only keep as many pairs as line up with the row below. Any cards that don't have cards beneath them are lost. Eventually, you'll find yourself trying to keep a stack of a single pairs going as long as you can. Once you misalign a single pair, it's game over.

Starting to build

From my description, Stackup sounds quite basic, but there is something more to its gameplay. As the cards move from side to side, they are moving in steps, rather than analogue movements. That actually makes the game easier, matching discrete positions is easier than being pixel perfect. However, each row starts moving from a random position.

A lack of patience means you soon start losing cards!

The cards move from place to place quite slowly, and so you have to deal with your own patience while waiting for them to get back into position. This is exacerbated by the fact that often you'll get a run of cards starting in the same position, which tricks you into beginning a rhythm, and hitting the on-screen button without really looking. The emotional pay off of advancing a few rows in quick succession makes it hard to resist not looking or concentrating properly.

Getting a little further

The visuals are quite simple, but offer a pay-off for advancing too. The game starts with a background image of the Eiffel Tower, which slowly scrolls upwards a little with every advancement. Once you pass the top of the Parisian landmark, you coast through a little blue sky, and then your altitude reveals a couple of hot air balloons! In testing, I've made it just far enough to see a hint of a fighter jet after the balloons. It makes you wonder what lies beyond - and there's the hook behind this game.

Reaching stratospheric heights!

Overall, Stackup is a 'good' game, in that it presents a simple process which evokes an emotional reaction in the player. However, I do question its long term appeal, since the gameplay is repetitive and requires a good deal of patience to play properly.

Given that Stackup is free in the Ovi Store, why not try it for yourself and tell us what you think in the comments!

David Gilson for All About Symbian, 9th June 2011

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