Android App Video Review: ShakyTower

by Andrew Koziara

ShakyTower is an app from developer HyperBees. By combining block stacking with gravity and tilt physics, they created an interesting and innovative new game which definitely deserves your attention. The game has two main modes of play; Adventure and Quick Play.

Adventure mode takes you from level to level, presenting new and unique challenges and progressively complex mechanics as you make your way through all the worlds. Quick Play mode is the same set of games but split into several difficulties, from trivial up to insane. Each game gets a little bit more complex and challenging with each difficulty level and the difficulty curve is well done here. I can’t say the same for the Adventure mode though. Adventure mode, while full of a great variety of game types and levels, seems to be horribly balanced, offering hair-pullingly difficult levels intermixed with the extremely easy ones that won’t even get an afterthought. Many levels are more about platforming, using mechanics like fans and ice in conjunction with deadly walls to create platforming style obstacles. These are overcome by tilting the phone and shifting gravity. I accuse the tilt controls as the main culprit for the frustration and rage. Even after tweaking the tilt sensitivity and trying different settings, I just couldn’t find one that felt comfortable and natural. As I mentioned though, some levels are extremely difficult while many others are just far too easy and boring.

Aside from the balancing issues, the game is still pretty fun overall. The cartoon graphics are well done too, creating a colorful and simple world. As you play through the game you will gain coins and stars, which can be taken into the store to purchase upgrades and bonuses for the game. For example, you can purchase a level skip for when you get to that impossible level, or increase the frequency of bonus drops, or even get rid of advertisements. Of course, you can always buy more currency via the marketplace for real money. The game also supports OpenFeint leaderboards and achievements. Honestly, aside from the occasionally frustrating controls and difficult levels, this game is pretty well put together and offers a lot of content. It’s also totally free, so check it out.

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