Game Reviews

Pebble Universe

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| Pebble Universe
Pebble Universe
| Pebble Universe

They say a rolling stone gathers no moss, and the ones in Pebble Universe are no exception.

The lumps of rock in this iOS physics puzzler have personality and appeal, and they’re constantly in motion. Oh, and should two of them collide they both explode in a shower of deadly debris - which we find usually suppresses the growth of plant life.

In Pebble Universe, exploding is a vital power. The world of the pebbles has been mercilessly invaded by horrible soot monsters, and to take back their freedom your only option is to put your stones on the line.

Tapping a pebble will cause it to roll as gravity inevitably takes it course. The pebble will keep rolling until it either falls off the bottom of the screen, comes to a natural standstill, or encounters a flower spinner (which you can tap to give the pebbles extra speed) or another environmental feature.

Rock and roll

Most levels will feature two sets of pebbles, because one on its own is of very little use. To cause some carnage and rid the stage of those pesky soot pets you’ll need to bring two pebbles together in a deadly and explosive embrace - and therein lies the challenge.

Timing is everything in Pebble Universe. Often you’ll find that there’s a certain point in each level where you need to get your pebbles to collide, but doing so is easier said than done. You’ll need to stagger your pebble launches and watch for enemy movements - not all of the soot monsters you face are content to present themselves as static targets.

Pebble Universe contains several different pebble types: your standard pebble hurls debris upwards, and its larger cousin does the same, but with more dramatic results. Other pebbles fire different kinds of shrapnel, and knowing how to use each one becomes key to victory.

True grit

The first few levels will fall relatively easily, but the challenge kicks in surprisingly swiftly in Pebble Universe. Some stages require absolutely perfect timing, and will take much experimentation and several attempts.

You may well relish this kind of task, just as you may enjoy the opportunity to return to previously completely levels and earn that now-obligatory three-star rating.

However, those of you weaned on more casual titles may find the incredibly precise gameplay a little too frustrating - some levels take what feels like an age to successfully complete, and often you feel like you’ve done so through luck rather than skill.

Pebble Universe has the looks and the challenge to keep hardcore puzzle addicts satisfied, and it's well worth a peek if you’re a fan of physics-based games. Just be aware that it doesn’t capitulate as quickly as other iOS titles, and this could dearly test the patience of some players.

Pebble Universe

This physics-based puzzler does at least attempt to try something a little different, and fans of the genre will appreciate the finer points of the precise and demanding gameplay. Casual players may become annoyed due to the stern challenge, however