Fibble feels like what Pixar might come up with if the animation studio tried its hand at a puzzle game. The premise behind the game from Crytek even kind of sounds like a Disney movie waiting to happen: When a lovable alien the size of a marble gets knocked from orbit, it has to navigate its way through the hazards of a human household as efficiently as possible. Also, there’s a lot of hugging. And an octopus with a monocle.
The levels look like unused sets from the miniature world of Toy Story, while the helpful creatures you find along the way could’ve been extras in Monsters, Inc. Fibble’s built-in game engine feels like something you’d associate with high-performance PC games, so you might be forgiven for admiring the 3D-modeled rubber duck in the background when you should be angling to pick up some collectables.
That said, you will come back for those collectables. Flick your globular protagonist to roll him through the level, tapping occasionally to get your wee pals to help in bouncing, turning corners, and otherwise navigating strange little obstacle courses. The tricky part is in placing your helpers optimally to collect every last pick-up along the way, allowing you to unlock later levels and achieve higher scores.
Fibble is playable on both iPhone and iPad (as the separate, iPad-optimized Fibble HD, but you can’t synchronize your progress between devices. If you have both an iPhone or an iPad, though, there’s no contest: Between easier-to-read text and more screen space for those carefully-assembled visuals, this is a game to reassure you that a fancy new iPad was a good investment.
Jason Tocci is a writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.