Lately, I’ve been a bit all over the place – Playing console games, app games and no games. One of the few app games that has kept my attention through this rough gaming patch is “Stick Hero”, a game from Ketchapp, a company that have put out quite a few half-decent app games lately, such as The Tower, 2048 and the “Make Them Jump/Fall” saga of multiplayer games.
What I like about Ketchapp is the fact that all these games are very similar in terms of how they’re made – They’re all very simple, yet very, very addictive. Stick Hero sees you control a Hero who must get to different blocks – a seemingly infinite amount of blocks. Simply hold down on the screen to extend your ‘stick’ and get it the correct length to cross. Ok – so it’s never going to set the world alight – Nor is it going to be that different once you’re a few hours in. In fact, the only difference is the location and size of the blocks from try to try.
The design of the game is very subtle – Subtly different every time you hit that play button. The background alters between a snowy region to a dark creepy forest, to a sun-filled meadow; but what really adds to these differences is the change in the music that occurs everytime. I must admit I didn’t even notice it at first, until I decided to put in my headphones and turn it up a bit. The music helps set the tone of the background, helping me at least, to notice that I’d journeyed to a meadow instead of the creepy forest I was in previously. As well as this, the music, although simple, adds a bit to the game when you pick up a cherry or get a perfect length.
So cherries – First time I’ve mentioned these. Cherries act as a half-currency for the game. Every different block has the chance of having a cherry somewhere under the bridge you build – which then stocks up to unlock different ‘Heroes’, not with different abilities, but just different looks. At first, I thought that it was a case of the characters would unlock once I’d collected a certain number of cherries – I think the first is at 25 – however, you actually spend cherries to unlock more characters. The changes in appearance are unknown till you spend the cherries on it; for example one has a ‘Mr Whippy’ Ice Cream scoop on his head, another sports an afro and Jimi Hendrix styled hairband. Although they do give a laugh, there’s no real reason to unlock them, but it does mean that what you’re doing in the game has unlockables attached to it.
The scoring itself is simple too; every bridge you make that is the correct length for you to cross gives you 1 point, if you get a perfect whilst doing it, you get 2. This is achieved by making the bridge the correct length to hit exactly within the tiny red dot of the block; not as easy as it first sounds, but this is the key to getting a good high score within the game. It can go from being unnecessarily kind to you and giving you a huge block to hit, to being 3 or 4 back to back miniscule blocks – which I’d personally like to be given more points for!
All in all, the game is a good addition to our “On The Go” section. It’s free, which is actually quite a shame, as the ads ruin it somewhat by being ever-present. If Ketchapp had given a 69p version to get rid of the ads, I would have happily done this…As would Thinkbad Monkey. That’s £1.38 right there you lost Ketchapp!