Rock and Roll With Pebble Universe
An old proverb says a rolling stone gathers no moss, and the lumps of rock in Pebble Universe are no exception.
I bet that you’re already familiar with many other physics puzzle games that usually give you that solution right in front of your nose. But lo and behold, that’s not quite the case in this app.
No, don’t tear your hair out yet. Learn more about this app after the cut.
Pebble Universe is a brain child of the Swedish duo, Itatake. It is yet another physics-based puzzle game that is set in a world where charming peace-loving pebbles are threatened by evil soot-black one-eyed monsters who love devouring Pebble-meat more than anything else.
- Engrossing and addictive gameplay
- Adorable music and sound effects
- Well-designed graphics in HD
- Vibrant terrain
- 50 standard levels
- 5 bonus flower levels
Timing is Crucial
The world of the pebbles for centuries has been peaceful not until they were mercilessly invaded by one-eyed soot monsters. To take back their freedom, you must put them on the line and make them quite offensive to survive. Not to mention, you must literally put their heads together in a fight for their lives.
In each level, you are presented with one or more groups of pebbles. Exploding is a vital power in this game; tapping a pebble will cause it to roll as gravity irrevocably takes it course. Oh, and should two of them collide they both explode in a shower of deadly debris that can demolish the horrible monsters.
Once you’ve tapped a pebble, it will keep on rolling until it either falls off the bottom of a pit, comes to a natural standstill, or comes across a flower spinner (which you can tap to give pebbles extra speed) or another environmental feature. There are actually a few interactive elements available in the game like fans that modify the direction and speed of your pebbles, geysers and bouncy sponges in case you’re in trouble targeting the monsters.
Timing is the main key here as you must make it a point to run the pebbles into each other in the right spot to trigger the collision and eventually donate and throw up shrapnel to kill the one-eyed baddies.
The ultimate challenge lies in bringing 2 pebbles together in a deadly and explosive embrace to get rid of those pesky soot pets. Doing so is easier said than done, ergo, you’ll need to stagger your pebble launches and carefully watch for enemy movements – not all of the soot-lump creatures you battle with are content to present themselves as static targets, some of them move. So, the selection of pebble types then comes handy.
As you work your way through the game, you’ll be introduced to 5 distinct pebble types, each with a tweaked version of the roll and explode dynamic:
The Normal Pebble – “This guy is Mr. Allround, the most common pebble in Pebble Universe“.
Big Pebble – “Greater size and a heavy body makes this champ a good wingman to the normal Pebble”.
Sniper Pebble – “Great range and high precision makes the Sniper Pebble perfect everywhere it is possible to take a clean shot”.
Splitter Pebble – “The splitter is the perfect weapon anytime you are in close-quarters with tight low ceilings, like in a cave”.
Cluster Pebble – “He is hot, and he will explode. Learn how to control him and you will find big use for him”.
At first, I was a bit concerned that the game was plain simple and boring at some point because it was relatively easy, but that’s just the first few levels that teach you the ropes. Once you get familiarized with the gameplay, it gets more engaging to actually strategize which pebbles to trigger first and when to shoot for the collision. Indeed, it somehow takes a lot of experimentation and several attempts to master perfect timing in the game. Good thing there’s a replay button where you can play it over and over again.
It gets much complex and tricky once you encounter floating eyeballs and spikes that explode out of the evil monster as it dies. However, I think it’s still helpful since it causes a chain reaction making it more convenient at least for the players. If you take down all the monsters, you’ll be rewarded with a medal of honor. And oh, pebbles loved flowers, which they ate with great appetite. If you get to collect golden flowers in the game, you can unlock the bonus levels.
It must be noted though that there is no such way for you to impart a sort of varied pressure at launch to make the pebble roll faster, it’s just a simple tap and wait for it to get rolling. In addition to that, pebbles are in a pre-defined order so you can’t choose what to fire up. Yes, it definitely sucks the joy out of your eagerness to get rid of those monstrous invaders.
Each level ends when you’ve killed all of the one-eyed monsters, killed the “Prince” monster, or run out of pebbles (in which case you lose). Your rating in the game will be based on how many baddies you take out, but you only have to kill the one wearing the crown (the Prince, as they say) to move on to the succeeding levels. Pebbles that are left unused pebbles will turn into point bonuses.
Rock and Roll
I must admit, the graphics are superb. It’s an eye-candy for me to see the pebbles in the app that have personality and appeal and likewise, the Sootlump monsters are nearly as cute as them. Although the latter are scared for their lives as they are. The animation on the other hand is something to commend as well since pebbles execute some emotions– they squeak and get excited– while the quirky monsters often gib their eyeballs and horns. Yeah. Eyeballs everywhere. Overall, this app definitely succeeded in freshening up the genre to iOS’ ever-expanding catalog of physics-based puzzle games. It’s a crowd-pleaser although you can expect a spot of frustration here or there because it doesn’t capitulate as hastily as the other titles. Nonetheless, it’s pretty cool to pop the ’royal’ cyclops– definitely a treat of a challenge to keep hardcore puzzle addicts satisfied. And really, what’s not to get addicted to throwing rocks at things until their eyes burst out? *evil smirk*
Kidding aside, Pebble Universe definitely defied the norm of the Physics-based puzzlers. I swear I got really intrigued and curious to see what other surprising elements is it going to offer to me on the succeeding stages of the app. I guess it’s THAT effective.
Ergo, if you’re a fan of physics-based games, then this one’s well worth a peek at the and , anyway it’s for free. And yes, you can pay a buck for some in-app purchases to avail more worlds.
Oh, by the way, did I mention they have upgraded with 5 new levels inspired by blockbuster movies? Do check it out by downloading the app.
Watch the official trailer of the app below:
You may also want to try the other Physics-based puzzlers here in Applatter, click here.