There are some games on the iOS App Store that don’t give any indication to the end-user about what they’re about, that trust the player to give them a go in order to figure these things out. Usually these games have an interest icon to lure people in, or maybe even a couple of interesting screenshots or reviews. However, Play Nimbus’ first game, Wobbles, has none of these. The art style isn’t great, the icon is strange and even the name of the title leaves a little too much to the imagination, but you should absolutely give it a go. Wobbles is one of those game that will pass people by just because it doesn’t look interesting, but that absolutely doesn’t mean that it isn’t interesting.
At its core, Wobbles is a platforming puzzle game that takes a great deal of inspiration from the massively popular Lemmings title. The goal of each level is to get the titular Wobbles from one end of the stage to the other, collecting as many of the maximum of three stars as possible, and without losing any of the Wobbles. If you do happen to lose any of them on their arduous journey from left to right, you won’t have to start the level again, but you will have to contend with a couple of points deducted from your final score, and perhaps a couple of stars that you weren’t able to attain. For completionists, this is going to be enough drive to keep them playing the same levels over and over again.
Wobbles is divided into separate ages, and you’re given one new tool – something that was discovered or invented in that age – to help get the Wobbles to the other end of the screen. These items include things such as fire and fountains (which make the Wobbles jump into the air, and break their fall respectively), as well as a whole host of other items as you make your way through the different eras of the title. When you progress to the next age, you don’t lose any of the items you collected previously, so this also works as a nice way to make each of the levels progressively more difficult at a fairly standard pace by consistently increasing the amount of items you have to use in each level.
One important aspect of the game is that you can move the items around the world once you’ve placed them down for the first time. When you first start a level, you’re given as much time as you need to place the items into the game world in the place you want them to start (and items can float in mid-air too, so you don’t have to worry about that). Once you hit the “Play” button, the level starts and, while you can still move the objects around the world, the Wobbles won’t completely stop in order for you to do so. With this in mind, you can expect a lot of object management, trying to get things into the perfect spot, then moving it before another Wobble – one that you don’t want to interact with the object – touches it.
VERDICT: All in all, Wobbles is an extremely fun little title that suffers from an art style that’s – to be frank – a little lacking. The gameplay is interesting, and all the tiny nuances certainly kept me playing through all of the different ages, but there’s a lot about the game that’s going to turn people off before they’ve even tried it. Still, it’s a video game, and video games are meant to be fun, challenging and rewarding. Wobbles is all of those things and it’s certainly worth at least a look; even more so if you’re a fan of the Lemmings style of gameplay.
GOOD. A game that scores 7/10 is worthy of note, but unworthy of fanfare. It does many things well, but only a few of them incredibly well and, despite a handful of good qualities, fresh ideas and solid mechanics, it fails to overwhelm.