Stack iOS Game by Ketchapp and KCHLab
Once upon a time, yours truly was stuck on a high-speed train from Shanghai to Changzhou next to two of my friend’s friends, who we’ll call T and J. Our common denominator had been assigned a seat in a different row than the three of us and was dozing lightly as we made small talk. Earlier that day, I introduced these gentlemen to Stack by Ketchapp to demonstrate the types of applications I review. Upon a lull in conversation, J, the one next to me, requested to borrow my phone so he could play it, stacked up to 48, and passed my phone to T, who passed it back to me after his turn. Thus began a Stack frenzy. Within fifteen minutes, T had ignored a phone call so as not to break a streak, J (who was in the middle seat) had started a running commentary, and I was getting all bent out of shape that mine was no longer the high score (we got pretty competitive after a while). But I regained my top spot as we arrived at our destination with a score of 75, so everyone is living happily ever after.
Given the circumstances, this was one of the more enjoyable things I’ve reviewed for MacSources, but even without the train competition, Stack would be getting a positive review. Gameplay is so incredibly simple; you stack blocks as high as you can. When you press play, a block slides across your base and bounces back and forth until you tap the screen to stop it. When you do, any part of the block that is not over the base of the stack falls off and leaves you with a smaller area to stack and smaller future blocks. If you manage to line things up perfectly several times in a row, your stack and blocks start emanating white squares and eventually gain area (which I actually find breaks the rhythm of the game, more often than not breaking the streak and making me lose a lot of area on the next pass). That’s all. That’s the whole game. Upon the first go-through, one may worry about Stack’s possibly limited playability due to its simplicity, but there’s also something compelling about this simplicity. It’s like a challenge. All you do is tap the screen; anyone can do it, so you should probably be able to get over forty, then fifty, sixty, seventy, etc.
Like its gameplay, Stack’s design is simple. Your stack count displays at the top of the screen, and your stack and incoming blocks are beneath that. The blocks gradate from one color to the next, which adds a bit of variety to the game. I find the colors oddly satisfying while I play, as the background color changes as well to complement the area of the stack currently on screen, and it’s a bit of a curiosity how the rainbow of the stack will progress. It’s all quite aesthetic. My favorite little detail in Stack is that when pieces fall off the top block, they bounce off the stack as they fall or land onto a ledge further down.
Overall, Stack is a beautiful little time waster.
DOWNLOAD – Stack – FREE (in-app purchases) – iOS