App Army Assemble: Stuffo the Puzzle Bot - "How does this puzzler stack up against the rest?"

We ask the App Army

App Army Assemble: Stuffo the Puzzle Bot - "How does this puzzler stack up against the rest?"

Stuffo the Puzzle Bot is, as the title implies, a puzzler from indie developer Antti Tiihonen. It's a simple idea that sees you stacking boxes to help the titular hero reach the exit of each level. Given that our App Army members are puzzle-solving experts, we hand the game over to them, to see if it's full of satisfying brain teasers.

Here's what they said:

Isaiah Stuart

This puzzler is pretty decent. Puzzlers in general tend to test my patience, and the movement is particularly patience-testing on this one, but overall the game works pretty well. I quite like the visual presentation, though it isn't the most conducive to puzzle-solving. Overall, nothing special, just pretty good. I'd say it's worth the price.

Brian Wigington

I loved the look and aesthetic of Stuffo from the first time I saw the app in the app store/Google Play. I was eager to try it and thankful to have the chance to give my thoughts on the game. At first, I have to admit I was not having the best time due in large part to the touch controls. It simply did not feel all that intuitive to me and I wasn't sure why. Thankfully, I read somewhere that the game was originally a PC game and that keyboards work well with the game. Samsung keyboard case to the rescue! I played through a half dozen or so of the levels with the arrow and space bar controls and was pleasantly surprised.

The goal is to move certain boxes or blocks around to specific locations in the levels in order to get to the exit. Your character automatically climbs a block but only if the height is 1 block high. The levels add things like teleporters to keep things interesting and make you think more about your moves. Some levels have atoms you try to get before exiting and that adds to the challenge as well.

The soundtrack has a neat electronic quality to it and the sounds are simple but effective. The graphics have a chunky but charming look and have some neat lo-fi reflections and such. There seem to be a lot of levels included which makes the value proposition even better. If you enjoy physical logic puzzles similar to Sokoban then there is a lot to like here, especially with physical controls.

Oksana Ryan

This game was definitely a good puzzler, which has you moving crates to get to the exit. There are multiple ways of making your way through the levels, like moving the boxes through transporter portals or using water jets to push you upwards. The pixel graphics are quite basic but do the job, the sound isn’t brilliant and I turned it off, the aspect was better in landscape because it allowed me to see more of the scene, but one thing that annoyed me was the controls. Until I really got into the game I found the lifting and placing of the crates random, very often thinking I had completed a move only to find I hadn’t. That said, the puzzles themselves were, for the most part, ingenuous, giving plenty of room for thought. I enjoyed the game but would recommend just a slight adjustment to the controls.

Michael Purdy

Original comment: Puzzle platformer is similar to classics like lode runner. You move from platform to platform using blocks that you can place in designated areas to reach the exit door. I like the pixelated art style. It was clearly designed for computers because the controls they display are clearly for a keyboard. Moving around in touch screen works well enough, but I found grabbing and placing the blocks to be finicky. The good news is the game has keyboard support on iPad. I plugged my iPad into a dock and it became a lot more enjoyable to play. I am uncertain if there is controller support because I did not try.

Updated thoughts: Looks like they released an update that fixed a lot of the issues. Much more enjoyable now.

Bruno Ramalho

Let's just take this out of the way, the reminders on the screen that you can use your keyboard keys to do things. Yes, it's a PC port, I guess this will be removed in the future as it doesn't make any sense. The game is a Sci-Fi puzzler that I enjoyed very much. The soundtrack is top-notch, the pixelated visuals are very good-looking, and there's a lot of attention to detail, even in a pixelated look. I like it when you try to go offscreen with your Stuffo Robot, and we get pushed onto the platform again by some kind of sea creature, and that makes some waves also.

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As I said, some attention to detail and special effects is nice. The puzzles themselves start easy, but they can get hard pretty fast. It's not Sokoban, but sometimes it feels like it? As you are pushing boxes back and forth, you have to be careful of the order you push them, and your place in all of it, so you do not get stuck (there's an undo). There are always new mechanics coming in to get things fresh which is nice, boxes with water jets (energy jets?) that push you and boxes to reach higher places, teletransportation boxes, energy boxes that open gates and unlock other boxes.

There's a lot happening. I enjoyed the fact that you can play this game with one hand holding your phone vertically, and also just go to landscape and enjoy the panoramic view. All in all, great puzzle game for people that enjoy their puzzles. It's not an easy game, I must warn you. But I enjoyed it very much.

Mark Abukoff

This is a good-looking puzzler/platformer with a pixelated robot character and a noir-ish aesthetic and synth soundtrack. I liked the thought-provoking puzzles that introduced interesting new mechanics as you progressed. It took me a while to get to the point where I needed to look for help on YouTube videos. A little frustrating having to walk the poor guy back and forth and over things, sometimes while carrying boxes, but that also made me think a little harder so as to save time and avoid starting over.

The only aspect that put me off was the controls. Firstly, as has been noted, the cues to use the keyboard as a controller show that this is a port (which is fine- it’s basically a good one) and that those cues weren’t removed. I’m not a programmer so I don’t know involved that is, but it gives a poor impression. And the controls on the right-hand side were either invisible or barely visible. Once I learned where to tap to access them it wasn’t a big deal, but again, it could be improved. Worth noting that it can be played in portrait or landscape, which is always a bonus. Overall I liked it, but I think it could do with a little polish.

Eduard Pandele

Stuffo" is basically "Sokoban" turned into a platformer - you move little "Stuffo the puzzle bot" around, order him to grab boxes, carry them and place them on specially designed areas to create platforms to move onto and reach new boxes that'll unlock new platforms. (yes, it's an endless cycle). I really loved the puzzle design, it's smart, and surprising and twists your brain gradually, introducing new elements (teleport boxes. hydrant boxes) so it doesn't feel stale. The pixel art is minimal, but it works, and the levels look nice. The weakness of the game stems from its basic idea: instead of simply tapping anywhere to place boxes, you need to physically move the bot back and forth for every single box, which means there's quite a bit (ok, a LOT) of walking involved. A great puzzler for patient and inquisitive players.

Torbjörn Kämblad

Stuffo is a puzzler made for PC, and it keeps reminding you of it. Tutorials and hints keep noting that space bars and other keys can be used. I find this to be more than a tad bit sloppy. The gameplay is slow-moving Sokoban-type puzzles moving boxes to traverse the environment. A bit too slow though. The highlight is the old-school parallax platforming presentation combined with a Blade Runner-esque synth soundtrack. In the current iteration, not a recommended game.

Massimo Saraconi

So, Stuffo is a classic puzzle game with a robot moving boxes in order to reach the exit doors. Both graphics and sound effects are fine, and so is the gameplay. A smart and cool little game to play on the go on our devices.

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Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen brings both a love of games and a very formal-sounding journalism qualification to the Pocket Gamer team.