Fibble – Flick ‘N’ Roll is the surprising new game from Crytek Budapest, the team responsible for the glorious Crysis Warhead, and the only developer with a front door so technologically advanced that it almost cut me in half the last time I visited.
Fibble‘s also what copy writers like to refer to as “a bit of a departure” for the studio. This is a company that normally turns out astonishingly pretty game worlds that you view down the barrel of a gun. Fibble, meanwhile, is a top-down iOS game that, as Will said in our preview, combines Crazy Golf, Pinball, and Micro-Machines.
With a set-up like that, Fibble was never going to be bad, I guess. Crytek’s latest drops you into very familiar iOS territory, offering a range of short, collect-’em-up levels that play out as you explore small mazes strung through a cluttered house, winning medals, finding keys to open up bonus areas, and completing all manner of mini-objectives.
The main objective is always the same, though: pull Fibble back and then let him go to send him rolling across a cluttered playground of ramps and sudden drops, on a mission to reach the exit as economically as possible. The controls feel pretty good – although if you’re used to the speed of something like Angry Birds, it can all seem a little sluggish at first – while a selection of Fibble’s friends are on hand for you to place throughout the world at specific points, some of which will allow him to rotate before zipping off in another direction, say, while others might set him swinging through the air, blasting forward with a burst of speed, or jumping over a gap.
I enjoyed all of this, of course, and Fibble‘s actually one of those rare games where things genuinely do become increasingly more entertaining as the complexity of the levels ramps up, but I initially felt quietly underwhelmed, too. I guess I’d expected Crytek to bring a little of its own personality to proceedings, whereas this, with its classic three-star level objectives, its relatively sensitive monetisation – you can basically pay to unlock everything in one or two goes if you want – and its rather basic physics challenges, almost feels like a cover version of an iOS game at times.
It’s a pretty good cover version, though, and Crytek’s tech skill is brashly on display in 3D environments that are filled with gleaming domestic clutter, ranging from rubber ducks to old coffee mugs. If you want to see what European ketchup bottles look like, you’re in for a treat. For everyone else, Fibble is polished, if fairly conservative, smartphone fun.