Android App Review: Stick Hero

16 Feb 15

Stick Hero is one of those games that took a single, simple idea and executed it well, and the end result is so much better than most other game apps that try to do more.

You play as a bean-shaped silhouette with a snazzy headband and the ability to create sticks of variable length. You use these sticks as bridges to cross canyons. If your stick is too short you’ll fall down the hole. If your stick is too long you’ll overshoot and fall down the next hole.

It’s really basic, but also hugely challenging, and there’s an added challenge where you can walk on the underside of your stick to collect cherries which requires some very precise timing to pull off. The premise makes no sense at all, but that hardly matters. It’s a game that tests your timing and judgement, and as such it works well.

The graphics are very basic but not in a way that bothers me – I actually think the stripped-back, refined aesthetic suits the app and its straightforward gameplay.

It’s a free game so as expect you have to deal with a bit of advertising. But it doesn’t get in the way of your actual playing so it’s easy enough to ignore.

My major complaint about Stick Hero seems trivial, but it’s one that really bugged me. Once you’ve failed a level, an experience I went through regularly and often, your immediate reaction is to press the restart/refresh button. But there’s a weirdly long wait before anything actually happens (elsewhere in the app there’s practically no lag or loading time).

The wait is so long that you’ll probably tap the screen again to make sure it got your message – but when the level finally does reload it’ll remember this second tap and use it as your first move. It almost certainly won’t be the right move though, so you’ll fall down a hole and have to refresh the level. There’ll be the same delay, you’ll get equally impatient, and the cycle will continue.

Aside from that annoyance, this is a fun game and one that I’d recommend to anyone wanting a quick, simple diversion. Also that snazzy headband makes the main character look a bit like a ninja, which immediately makes me like it more.

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