Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks)

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks) Game Poster Image
Quirky tower puzzler works in spite of odd presentation.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

The game makes plenty of use of physics as players balance the blocks to reach goal heights. Also, when the "?" block appears, there's a chance it will trigger a game show that challenges players with trivia questions.

Positive Messages

The story is like a delusional fever dream that makes little to no sense, but the player's purpose for stacking the blocks is ultimately to help out the townsfolk.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There's not a lot of character development, but Rockit does immediately answer the call for help from the Mayor as she sets out to save the day.

Ease of Play

While the objective is simple enough and the controls are easy to pick up and play, this is still a difficult game. Rotating pieces, as well as the camera, can make gameplay awkward as players try to figure out precisely where and how blocks will land.

Violence & Scariness

There are a couple of instances of very cartoonish violence, such as a block falling from the sky and squashing the avocado resident (though he survives) and a mini-game that has players shooting at ghost creatures.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks) is a puzzle game available on the Stadia gaming platform and on Windows-based PCs. Players make their way through a series of levels in which they must stack falling blocks on top of each other to reach a specific height. The game's content is generally acceptable for all ages, with only light cartoonish violence in a couple of spots. There's even an occasional trivia mini-game that is designed for both young kids and adults alike.

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What's it about?

STACKS ON STACKS (ON STACKS) is a 3D tower building puzzle game with personality. This is a wacky world where the mayor is an avocado, giant babies throw temper tantrums, and the sky is literally falling. That last part is where you come in. You're Rockit, a "Master Stacker" gifted with telekinetic powers that allow you to move, turn, drop, and stack these falling blocks of destruction so they do no harm. Sure, that might seem simple at first, but things can escalate (and elevate) quickly. From military fish bombarding the area with aquariums to fire-breathing dragons raining fiery doom on your tower to impromptu game shows breaking out and interrupting your flow, you never know what hazards might be lurking just around the corner.

Is it any good?

Truth be told, at first glance it's hard to understand how this seemingly random puzzle game could possibly be much fun. The story of Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks), such as it is, makes absolutely no sense. The game's style looks like it could have come from an elementary school art class. And to top it off, the gameplay is often its own worst enemy. All that being said, it's still manages to have an odd sort of addictive appeal. Once you start putting your stacking skills to work, the game's nearly impossible to put down.

What's most interesting about Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks) is that nearly everything the game has going for it is also working against it, and vice versa. For example, the uncertainty of the "?" Block constantly pulls the player completely out of the tower building experience. While it's frustrating to have your flow constantly interrupted, these little mini-games can be fun distractions with a potentially game changing payoff. Meanwhile, playing in a 3D environment makes the stacking element feel more realistic, but it also means the camera can sometimes hide important aspects of the board and cause problems with perspective. Finally, co-op play can make or break any match, depending on if the two players can communicate and work well together. Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks) is, quite simply, controlled chaos at its best. Will you rise to the occasion and find balance? Or collapse under the pressure and let the world crash down around you?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about puzzle games. How do puzzle games help to sharpen players' thinking skills? What are some way players can apply the techniques and logic of puzzle games to the real world?

  • What are some of the challenges that adding another player can bring to games like Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks)? What are some of the ways co-op gaming can add to the fun?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles

Themes & Topics

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