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Review: Stair – platforming reversed

Stair likes to watch you squirm – as you frantically re-arrange the level to prevent the climber winning a Darwin Award.

Most platforming games have you jumping from ledge to ledge, avoiding spikes and getting a high score. However, Stair makes you move the platforms to the jumper, who seems to have a death wish – it’s like forever bailing out an idiotic friend like it’s a strangely addictive pastime.

After sliding the first block, the climber will start to jump. The trajectory is clearly shown as an arrow sticking out from the top of her head. When they land, they will immediately begin preparing their next jump in the opposite direction. It’s a constant left, right, left, right rhythm. It’s really simple to grasp, but there are a bunch of nuances that will change the way you play.

Firstly, the climber doesn’t need to land on a platform to reach it. They will scramble up the side and pull themselves up onto the ledge you’ve made. Second, you can move the block currently occupied. Do this to take the easiest route. Tapping on the jumper makes them jump a shorter distance, too.


Seems simple enough, right?

At first, it’s quite relaxing. There’s plenty of space to jump in, and almost no obstacles to threaten the climber. That is, until spikes appear. You can move most spike-blocks, but at a glance they are deceptively similar to the regular platforms. Trying to catch her with spiked-platforms is not recommended.

I am so sorry!

Oops. Sorry.

Once you’ve got the basics nailed down, you realise that Stair has some flashes of brilliance. All thoughts are lost of anything other than getting this silhouette of a person to the next safe platform; swiping away all of the obstacles to create a clear path. It improves multitasking, that’s for certain.

The game is keen to point out player shortcomings

The game is keen to point out player shortcomings.

In public spaces, you’re going to want to turn off the phone’s vibrations. Press the picture of the shaking phone in the top right of the main menu. Somehow, this also makes it less stressful. On a 5s screen, moving the platforms was a touch fiddly at times. This led to some unwarranted failures, which are made worse by restarting from the beginning every single time.

Price: $1.99/£1.49
Size: 19.7 MB
Version: 1.0
Platform: iOS Universal
Developer: Alec Thomson

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