Stairs is a highly addictive arcade style game wherein you navigate the ball up what feels like a never-ending staircase, collecting gems as you go, all the while making sure you dodge the spikes, as they’ll kill you horribly.
The game takes the idea of minimalist gameplay to the extreme with a complete lack of instructions. There’s no home screen, leaving you to be thrown straight into your first staircase, with just a simple sliding bar down the bottom of the screen that shows a finger moving across it. With a little guesswork, you quickly conclude this means you have to try swiping your finger left or right and hopefully the ball will move. That’s it, don’t expect any more guidance than that basic animation, no pointers towards how the scoring system works or tutorials that force you to complete tasks or check out the other options available from the main screen.
While it is refreshing to launch a game and not have a tutorial thrown in your face, at the same time you are left confused and unclear on the finer details of the game.[sc name=”quote” text=”While it is refreshing to launch a game and not have a tutorial thrown in your face, at the same time you are left confused and unclear on the finer details of the game.”]
Once you’ve got your head around the basics of the gameplay and are feeling brave enough to venture into the two buttons shown on the main screen you will finally understand why you’ve been mindlessly collecting gems; to unlock different ball designs. Yes, you heard right, you’re saving up to buy a ball that has stripes on it, or maybe even a rainbow colored ball.
While it’s nice to play an app game that is not constantly trying to get you to spend money to add extras to the game, it is disappointing that after all your hard work collecting gems they can only be used to buy different balls.
There are two different ways to play stairs: either take on the challenges, that will truly drive you crazy but quickly earn you extra gems, or the much more relaxed style of playing jumping as far up the staircase as you can, collecting gems and points. The former offers what can only be described as some “interesting” challenges, including an upside-down mode and a reverse mode. Some of the level feel near impossible and, as a result, are far from fun. The much more relaxed style of gameplay can be a calming experience, especially if you focus on landing on the dots which act as keyboard keys playing mellow music, as this can quickly become addictive trying to beat your highest score.
If you manage to complete 16 challenge levels you unlock a duck! Yes, a duck.[sc name=”quote” text=”If you manage to complete 16 challenge levels you unlock a duck! Yes, a duck.”]
You no longer have to play the role of a ball mindlessly jumping up the stairs because you can now be a duck jumping up the stairs with purpose, precisely as all ducks do… right? If you seriously dedicate enough time to the game and become a true pro completing even more challenge levels you can play in the role of a frog and even a dolphin.
Stairs is a game that can feel a little daunting at first but once you’ve got the basics down it will have you absorbed for hours but don’t expect anything too complex and taxing on your brain. Stairs feels ultimately pointless and will hurt your eyes, but is a great way to fill your time on long commutes.
[review pros=”Addictive gameplay” cons=”The lack of guidance leaves you confused. Reward system needs improving” score=6]
[appbox appstore id1320535586]
[appbox googleplay com.ketchapp.stairs]