Stickbound is a recently released take on platforming that uses a new type of mechanic to advance your character through the game. Imagine an upside down Hook Champ crossed with pole vaulting, and add a dash of pogo-sticking, and that gives you a rough idea of this game. It's clever and hasn't been done before, and provides a fun and compelling experience.

The gameplay involves propelling a tiny spaceman across hot dogs, plungers, piñatas, and other weird objects. Touching anywhere below your character extends a pole that launches him into the air. Where you touch the screen in relation to your character determines the trajectory. Touching right below him sends you straight in the air, and touching off to the side a bit sends him flying diagonally. The longer you touch, the more the pole extends, allowing you to control the force of your jumps. It takes some serious practice before the concept finally clicks, but once it does you'll be deftly bouncing along your merry way.

While this unique gameplay is really enjoyable, Stickbound does end up feeling a little shallow. The main draw is an endless mode, that has you seeing how far you can advance in the randomly generated terrain within your allotment of lives. There's the ability to earn more lives by collecting 50 of the stars spread around the level, and checkpoints in short intervals so if you fall into oblivion you can pick up near where you fell. A couple different power ups can float by occasionally. One rockets you a short distance and lands you safely and one that gives you wings that flap with taps of the screen. There is also a Timed mode that is exactly the same thing only you see how far you can get in 30 seconds. Both modes have separate online scoreboards you can submit to. Finally, three more characters can be unlocked by meeting certain criteria in the game.

Stickbound is a lot of fun to play. It has colorful graphics, really charming music, and a gameplay hook that had me obsessively trying over and over to top my best scores. At the same time, I'd love to see this new mechanic put to use with set level designs and much more content, similarly to something like the aforementioned Hook Champ. Still, at the introductory price of only 99¢ Stickbound is definitely worth taking a look at.

App Store Link: Stickbound, $0.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://digg.com WhoCares

    Nice graphics, looks like a fun game.

  • http://digg.com WhoCares

    Nice graphics, looks like a fun game.

  • Lord Gek

    I'm loving it so far. I really like the semi rag doll physics of the little character flopping about. If you manage to land on any part of a platform the character will struggle to reach a point on top of the given platform (pretty humorous if it happens to be along the rear end of a cow).

    I still suck at this but am having fun trying. Every so often I almost think I have the game down, even developing a little rhythm, only to suddenly pole vault myself backwards several platforms.

    • Jared Nelson

      Haha, what keeps happening to me is that I get really far without using any lives, and I think "this is going to be a monster game!" Then I totally blow it and lose all my lives in succession before actually making a high score. It's cool, though, because it's fun and I just try again!

  • Lord Gek

    I'm loving it so far. I really like the semi rag doll physics of the little character flopping about. If you manage to land on any part of a platform the character will struggle to reach a point on top of the given platform (pretty humorous if it happens to be along the rear end of a cow).

    I still suck at this but am having fun trying. Every so often I almost think I have the game down, even developing a little rhythm, only to suddenly pole vault myself backwards several platforms.

    • Jared Nelson

      Haha, what keeps happening to me is that I get really far without using any lives, and I think "this is going to be a monster game!" Then I totally blow it and lose all my lives in succession before actually making a high score. It's cool, though, because it's fun and I just try again!

  • http://myspace.com/raveinglunatics Paul

    Is there any character development like getting a new stick or a jetpack? Something to make you want to play again and again to earn money for upgrades?

  • http://myspace.com/raveinglunatics Paul

    Is there any character development like getting a new stick or a jetpack? Something to make you want to play again and again to earn money for upgrades?

  • Sushibox

    That background music sounds so familiar. Like I want to place it in Final Fantasy Tactics, but I can't remember. Not that it's the same music, but it's so similar.

    This game looks like good quick fun, especially for only a buck.

  • Sushibox

    That background music sounds so familiar. Like I want to place it in Final Fantasy Tactics, but I can't remember. Not that it's the same music, but it's so similar.

    This game looks like good quick fun, especially for only a buck.

  • Christian Bale

    Reminds me a lot of a little game called Super mario galaxy. Little chubby character in space with mini planets and stars.

    • http://www.allasloss.com Nick R.

      Agreed. Looks fun, but the music + level design looks like a side scrolling version of Galaxy.

  • Christian Bale

    Reminds me a lot of a little game called Super mario galaxy. Little chubby character in space with mini planets and stars.

    • http://www.allasloss.com Nick R.

      Agreed. Looks fun, but the music + level design looks like a side scrolling version of Galaxy.

  • http://www.gamenauts.com Gamenauts

    Hi guys,
    Thanks for the great review! We're working on the next update with new characters and OpenFeint integration. It should be ready next week. :)

  • http://www.gamenauts.com Gamenauts

    Hi guys,
    Thanks for the great review! We're working on the next update with new characters and OpenFeint integration. It should be ready next week. :)

  • Art "Alex" Velazquez

    great game! Im getting addicted already :)

  • Art "Alex" Velazquez

    great game! Im getting addicted already :)

  • John

    SushiBox, the music sounds familiar because its almost a note for note rip of the soundtrack to Steven Spielberg's movie Hook.

    I would have never remembered that except I just saw it about a week ago. Kinda sad that they would steal John Williams' music like that. Really tacky actually.

    • http://www.allasloss.com Nick R.

      I doubt they "stole" his music. Probably more coincidence than anything.

  • John

    SushiBox, the music sounds familiar because its almost a note for note rip of the soundtrack to Steven Spielberg's movie Hook.

    I would have never remembered that except I just saw it about a week ago. Kinda sad that they would steal John Williams' music like that. Really tacky actually.

    • http://www.allasloss.com Nick R.

      I doubt they "stole" his music. Probably more coincidence than anything.

  • http://www.gamenauts.com Gamenauts

    Hi John,
    The video above had the old music that was used in the Beta.

    We honestly weren't aware of the soundtrack to Hook when we made the music. When we were told by readers here that it sounded similar, we changed the music in the final version of the game.

    • http://www.allasloss.com Nick R.

      I doubt many people are aware of the "Hook" soundtrack, so don't feel bad.

  • http://www.gamenauts.com Gamenauts

    Hi John,
    The video above had the old music that was used in the Beta.

    We honestly weren't aware of the soundtrack to Hook when we made the music. When we were told by readers here that it sounded similar, we changed the music in the final version of the game.

    • http://www.allasloss.com Nick R.

      I doubt many people are aware of the "Hook" soundtrack, so don't feel bad.