App Review: Stuck Genie for iPhone
Big entertainment company Warner Bros. has recently released a couple apps, one of which is Stuck Genie. This is a cute little puzzle game where you must collect all the balls on the board by sticking them to each other. The concept is very simple but not necessarily always easy to complete.
Game Play and Controls
Before you can play Stuck Genie, you must enter your name. There is a horizontal scrolling list of the letters at the top and you must drag the letters down to the line to spell your name. I think this is a cute idea, but I hate it. The letter you want must be highlighted and half the time when I attempted to drag a letter, the letters scrolled instead or the game didn't even register that I touched the letter. It is much faster to just type my name with a keyboard and not nearly as frustrating. I think Warner Bros. would be better off creating a custom keyboard with the bubbly letters.
Once you enter your name, you're ready to play. There are three tutorial levels that teach you the controls of the game. They are optional and don't need to be completed before playing the actual game. When you begin level 1, a genie tells you his story with scrolling text in a speech bubble. This text scrolls VERY slow and there is no way to speed it up. I find it aggravating to have to pause my reading mid-sentence waiting for the text to scroll into view.
The game board is a grid with a single yellow ball, any number of blue balls, and various obstacles. The object of the game is to get all the balls stuck together. The yellow ball is the one you control. To move, slide your finger anywhere on the screen in the direction you want to go. As you slide your finger, the squares in front of the ball will turn white. When you release your finger, the yellow ball follows the path of white squares. The one other control is rotation. At the bottom of the screen, there is button that rotates your cluster of balls clockwise when tapped; counter-clockwise is not an option. That's all there is to it!
Under the game board, you will notice a horizontal bar that fades from green to yellow. This is a time bar. There is no minimum time limit for a given level, but if you're fast, you can earn 4x, 3x, or 2x the normal point value. Sometimes, you may do a sequence of moves that result in the puzzle being impossible to complete. If so, there is an option to reset the level in the menu. However, this does not reset your time bar.
The first series of levels are, in my opinion, quite easy. This is expected in any puzzle game; however, I nearly lost interest in the game and was initially planning to write my review emphasizing that the game would be great for children. After completing fifteen levels, the first genie is released and you advance to the next series of levels. I immediately noticed a significant change in the difficulty level and this is when the game became fun for me. I wish there was a way to skip ahead to these levels without first completing the first set. What makes this game challenging is that as you collect more balls, you may be unable to fit through areas of the board or rotate. If you attempt to randomly collect balls, you will fail; a strategy is needed to be successful.
Stuck Genie is a great little puzzle game for both kids and adults. It stimulates the brain and makes you think. The game runs great and not once did I experience lag. The music is nice and sound effects are subtle. Don't let the cute, smiling, dancing genie and child-like design fool you, any adult can have fun playing Stuck Genie and I recommend you give it a try!
- Simple Concept
- Easy to play
- Challenging (eventually)
- Multiple profiles
- Cannot listen to iPod while playing
- Must complete 15 levels before they are challenging
- Slow scrolling text
TiPb Review Rating
Stuck Genie is available for $1.99 from the iTunes App Store.