Stickman Rocks in review – Stickman… well, stickman rocks!

In a world that seems to be increasingly bleak and pessimistic, it’s good – no, it’s imperative to have games that are simple, pointless fun.  StickMan Rocks fills that void with considerable charm. Rock climbing has a new champion, and we’ll call him Stickman.

The idea behind Stickman Rocks couldn’t be simpler. You’re Stickman, and you have to climb up the [amazingly straight] mountainside until your plans are thwarted by all the vindictive critters that inhabit the landscape. Well, there’s that and the possibility of getting crushed by falling rocks. To move Stickman you just tilt the device left and right. He automatically climbs and there’s no way to temporarily stop him unless you hit pause, but that will sort of stop everything else too, so… you get the point. There are some adversaries that will try to do things like growl the life out of you. They can be easily indentified because they are standing on little platforms and are usually sleeping before you get near them. You can tap them to stun them, at which point you’ll be able to pick up a star worth 5 normal stars.

Other critters will try and drop stuff on you. You can’t affect these creatures directly, but you can tap on the stuff they are dropping to destroy it. The same applies to random inconvenient boulders – just tap them to get them out of your way. Finally there are little parachuting varmints that you can swipe to get out of your way. On the plus side there are branches every once in a while that you can use to propel you upwards a ways, during which time you can’t be harmed. There are also stars to collect, and getting 100 of them will earn you an extra life, as long as you have a life slot to fill. Once you lose all your lives by getting hit by various things your climb is over. There’s a local high score table, but sadly no social networking to be had here, unless you count the ability to send an email telling people about the game. There’s also a “kid’s play” mode, and it appears that the main difference is if you lose all your lives you pause for a moment to deal with a bump on the head and just continue on with three new lives.

The graphics in Stickman Rocks are great. The backgrounds look like they came straight out of a Super Mario Bros installment, complete with the smiley translucent clouds and foliage with faces. The main character, though a stickman, actually looks cool. He’s also well animated, especially when he’s waving at the very beginning or looking dismayed as he gets ready to plummet off the side of the mountain. The other characters are also very well rendered and animated, and there’s a nice variety. Even the “reskins” (a polar bear in the frozen section instead of a grizzly bear, for example) don’t feel like cheesy knockoffs of each other like they do in a lot of games.

The sound is actually pretty good as well. Whether it’s the squeak-toy sound of a parachuting mole as it’s swiped out of the way or the excited “woo-hoo” of stickman as he collects his 100th star, everything sounds like it comes from the audio track of a really good cartoon. The one thing that’s sadly missing is any sort of music. It actually took a couple of games before I realized that the tunes just weren’t there, but now is quite obvious as I continue to play the game. It’s certainly not critical to my enjoyment, but it sure would be nice to have some background music.

Simple, mindless games are rarely so much fun. The visuals are outstanding, the sound effects work well, and the game play is easy to get into. Plus, it does actually get challenging as you climb higher and higher. If you’re looking for a (pick-up-and-play) game to amuse but not tax you,  Stickman Rocks ($0.99) is definitely worth checking out.

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App Summary
Title: StickMan RocksDeveloper: InMotion Software, LLC
Reviewed Ver:1.1Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$0.99App Size:7.4 MB
  • Simple, fun game play
  • Awesome graphics
  • Good sound effects
  • No music
  • Lack of social networking elements (notably achievements)

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