For an App Store veteran, Fibble won’t provide many surprises: it’s another physics-based arcade game with short chapters and a snappy pinball-meets-crazy-golf premise. Your only goal is to get Fibble from the start of each maze-like level to the end as economically as possible; your only incentive to do so stylishly lies with the familiar muddle of stars and medals that are up for grabs.
Approach this as a Crytek game, though, and you’ll be disappointed. The problem’s not that the team behind Crysis has gone casual, it’s that one of the most ambitious developers of the last decade is finally playing it safe. Fibble’s sweet, but it’s also boring. It’s a product of the market rather than imagination.
In fact, Fibble feels like an iOS game that’s been PowerPointed into existence, obeying established rules while adding none of its own. The controls are fine (stretch and then let go to move, tap to activate skills), but the mazes are cramped, and the collectables dull. Fibble’s friends should provide a little excitement (each has an ability, and you can experiment with their placement) yet the design’s ultimately too rudimentary for them to have much of an impact.
It looks beautiful, of course, with the developer’s flair for sharp visuals sliding some wonderful backdrops behind the action. The team’s other trademark, a knack for creating lively sandboxes that empower players, is almost entirely absent. Crytek’s landed on the App Store, then, but it’s only half of the company: the wrong half.