As I mentioned in my November favourites video I have been completely smitten by a new mobile game and it is called Grumz. Grumz has everything I love about a well designed mobile game: simple, intuitive controls, an unobnoxious, ambient soundtrack, elegant graphics and a sensible price point. Actually, Grumz is free to play, but you can through the developers a couple of bucks to get rid of the ads (which I totally recommend because ads are annoying and indie devs deserve your support).
I discovered the game while at the Montreal International Games Summit and I got the chance to get to know the devs a little bit, so it was especially cool when I heard that they’d won the Big Indie Pitch prize put on by Pocket Gamer. The lead designer, Momo comes from a fine arts background and Grumz is his foray into commercial game making. It’s deceptively simple game, but it’s that same simplicity that makes it so compellingly replayable.
The main mechanic in Grumz is stopping, which is why they bill the game as an “endless stopper.” Basically there is a beautiful geometric sphere thing that moves up and down the screen on a line. When you tap with screen with your finger, you stop the sphere. Hold your finger for too long and the sphere will break free, which is a problem because there is a constant stream of obstacles coming horizontally from both sides. Hit one and the game is over. Points are awarded for each time your sphere touches the top or bottom of the screen.
While this all seems deadly simple, things ramp up very quickly. There are macaroni shaped power-ups you can get that make you invincible for a while, but they wear off quickly and without much warning. Obstacles appear completely randomly, so there are no patterns you can memorize and different obstacles move in different directions with different timing. Because games can be over so quickly, Grumz is fiendishly “more-ish,” yet can be picked up or put down without giving any thought to keeping your place in the game.
Check out the trailer below to see if that’s your sort of thing.
Grumz is available for free on Android, and should be available on iOS soon.