Game Reviews


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| ShakyTower
| ShakyTower

Toddlers are known for their destructive tendencies, but as many as like to destroy have an urge to build. Hence building blocks. Hence cushion fortresses. Hence Lego.

The desire to build is an innate human urge, evident even in childhood. Skyscraper builders and architects may construct towers for a living, but for the rest of us there are games like ShakyTower.


It’s a quasi-puzzler with a simple concept. You build blocks one on top of the other and use the accelerometer to tilt gravity and balance the tower as it becomes more and more wobbly.

You drop new blocks in by tapping the screen, whereupon they fall until they hit something - preferably an earlier block.

To become 'active', blocks need to touch each other, so you can’t cheat by dropping them all over the place and causing a pile-up.

In early levels, there's usually an easy goal – a certain height to reach or number of checkpoints to activate. As you progress, things get trickier.

Red surfaces marked with a skull will destroy any block that touches them, icy surfaces and ice blocks make for a slippery time with the accelerometer, and air jets force you to do a little bit of platforming.

All the while, new block types are introduced to complicate matters, such as the bouncy block that jitters like a petulant child filled with Pop Rocks and Coke.


In Adventure mode there are six worlds, each containing around a dozen levels. Hi-score fiends will get their fill from the accompanying timer and second-saving power-ups fall from the sky to provide an extra edge.

As well as this, you can play a Quick Game, which is a simpler test of patience, balance, and dexterity, as opposed to the more puzzling maps of Adventure mode.

In fact, these quick tests are often more enjoyable. The Adventure mode levels alternate between fluffy and basic to agonisingly hard. The air jet levels in particular feel like they’ve been designed for some kind of Satanic ritual.

It’s very satisfying to complete these brutish levels, but only because they seem impossible to begin with.

The impreciseness of the accelerometer doesn’t help matters (although you can easily tweak the sensitivity of this in the settings), and nor does the fact that the occasional level simply can’t be solved in the way it was intended.

Shake your money maker

You get the option to skip ahead a level or two, but eventually you’ll have to return to a previously skipped level in order to accumulate enough Stars to unlock the next level.

If you're not a patient type, or you're completely stuck, then you can buy extra Stars - the in-game currency used to unlock further levels - with real money.

And this brings us to ShakyTower’s only major annoyance – the pop-ups. Throughout the game you're constantly reminded by pop-up messages that you can buy extra Stars or features.

This lengthens the downtime between levels and can get grating. But if you can tolerate the ads, they're a price worth paying to indulge your natural urge to build stuff.


ShakyTower starts out simple but can often offer a fiendish challenge. Good thing any frustration never lasts too long because the rest of the time it’s good, wholesome puzzling
Brendan Caldwell
Brendan Caldwell
Brendan is a boy. Specifically, a boy who plays games. More specifically, a nice boy who plays many games. He often feels he should be doing something else. That's when the siren call of an indie gem haunts him. Who shall win this battle of wills? Answer: not Brendan.