Review: Super Stacker
Publisher: inXile Entertainment
Release Date: May 25th, 2010
Players: 1-2 (Local)
What I liked:
- Stacking genre is largely unrepresented on consoles, which is a shame due to its fun mechanics and pick-up-and-play nature.
- Colorful graphics.
What I disliked:
- Lacks quite a bit in the ol’ presentation department.
- Not quite sold on the $10 price; anything lower would have sealed the deal.
A funny thing happened on my way to writing the two star review of Super Stacker: I started having a little bit of fun. I certainly wasn’t having much fun the last time I played a few days ago, but before writing the review I thought I’d give it one more go, and whadayaknow, it hooked me in a…bit.
There’s not an awful lot to dissect here. Super Stacker is a game where you must stack shapes without toppling them over. There’s three modes, with some having you stack em’ all or stack them to a target point in the air, or even “de-stack” boxes to get the gray box in the gray square. There’s 120 levels total, with the easy/medium/hard sections to slowly progress the player into stacking madness.
The stacking genre, while new on consoles, isn’t new on PC or phones. And boy, are there much better stacking games than this one. Super Stacker doesn’t really try to be flashy, with its lackadaisical music and sometimes annoying background sound effects. It’s not a great looking game, but certainly good enough. The way the progression system works in this game is quite unforgiving- instead of unlocking, say, five levels at a time, it only unlocks the next level after beating the previous. This could potentially lead you to get stuck on a hard level with nothing else to do, aside from trying the other modes.
Which leads me to my other gripe: trophy support. The trophy philosophy for games up to this point has mainly been: earn some easy ones off the bat, have a few hard ones in the middle, and give the player a big reward for dominating the game. Super Stacker throws all that out the window and only offers bronze trophies for, say, beating 40 levels in a row without losing once. Even the 10 level trophies are maddening because it’s a stupid goal to begin with…why not reward at least one trophy for beating 40 levels or something?
But, despite all of this, I did have fun. It’s a bit hard to mess up a game in the stacking genre, and certainly the physics and controls get the job done. Not my favorite game in the genre, or even of the week, but buy it for less than $10 during a future PSN sale and you’ll get your money’s worth. It’s definitely not a bad game, just a supremely average one.