Fibble is charming all-ages fun, though it’s a little on the easy side
The story of Fibble is one of a tiny alien whose spaceship is knocked off-course by a stray soda can floating through the cosmos (don’t ask us how it got there). As the ship falls towards the planet below, the titular alien manages to eject his four crewmates to safety before crashing inside an Earthling home. Once he collects himself, Fibble sets out on a quest to explore the house’s four rooms and reunite with his friends.
The game itself contains 30 levels spread throughout the house, and it’s up to you to help Fibble get through by way of “flicking” him (in a manner which resembles the slingshot-pulling of other games) through a series of obstacle courses to collect tokens and up to three stars before reaching the stage’s goal. In addition, there are four keys spread throughout– one for each section of the game– which can be collected to unlock expert courses.
At the start of each stage, a cutscene will play in which Fibble finds one of his crew mates, allowing us to witness their joyful reunions. But these cast members do more than simply serve the story; each has a different ability which can help Fibble get through the game’s many courses. For example, Byte lurks beneath manhole covers, and will catapult Fibble through the air when you touch the screen as the latter draws near his location. Docto, an octopus-like alien, will grab Fibble when you touch the screen and rotate, allowing him to move along a new trajectory, while the airgun-toting Vroom will blast him forward with a burst of speed, and the Sam Fisher-esque Ragno will swing him back and forth to even higher locations.
The inclusion of these four and their abilities may not seem so special in itself, but there is an extra factor added in. After they make their debut and you become familiar with their tactics, you are then tasked with placing them across a number of green Xes set across the stage. There doesn’t appear to really be any room for experimentation– you seem to have a right way and any number of wrong ways to do it– but it adds an interesting element of ingenuity to the proceedings as you study the stage layout and try to figure out who would work best where, and who else would work in conjunction nearby.
Fibble is a very cartoony game with a rather likeable cast, one which seems well-suited towards children without getting to the level of Barney or Teletubbies. In fact, Fibble seems skewed more towards younger or inexperienced players, as it tends to be quite easy for the majority of the game (though some of the later levels can get pretty nasty– comparatively speaking, at least– in their difficulty and complexity). In fact, we were able to clear half the game in about 20 minutes or so, and not even by rushing, but while going for the gold medals you earn by accomplishing certain goals. In addition, the fully-animated computer-generated cutscenes help make the whole thing feel like it’s poised to become a television cartoon for young children.
Other than the chance it might be too easy (though still enjoyable) for more experienced players, the game’s only major downside is that there are some pretty lengthy load times. Those wouldn’t even be so bad if they at least gave you a cue for when the next level is ready, rather than just silently displaying a “Play” button.
Fibble may not be for everyone due to the low challenge level early on, but it’s still pretty solid. Definitely the type of game you can feel good about giving to someone– a non-gaming young child, significant other, parent/grandparent, what have you– and that they may have a pretty good time with.