Pencil Obstacle hit the Windows Phone Store shelves late last month and joins the ranks of the many simple, time waster games available in the Store.
The game is simple to pick up but difficult (to the point of frustration) to master. You help guide a pencil eraser through an obstacle course filled with sharp pencils, box cutters, pens and other dangers.
We were tipped on the game and after spending a little time with Pencil Obstacle, we found it to be a decent Windows Phone game to pass the time with.
The main menu for Pencil Obstacle is modestly designed with a button to mute the sound and play the game.
Before jumping into game play, Pencil Obstacle will toss up a single page tutorial that covers the basics. The game has Chubby, a pencil eraser that resembles a piece of Hubba Bubba bubble gum, bouncing on a platform. You tap the screen to push Chubby forward through the gaps in the obstacles.
It is a game that will test your skills of timing to send Chubby forward at just the right moment in its bounce. To add to the challenge of the game, Chubby can only hop a limited number of times on each platform. The number of jumps will vary from platform to platform and when you reach that limit, a rotating spike will appear to ruin Chubby's day.
Obstacles include a variety of pencils, box cutters and pens. Some are cemented in place while others move up and down to vary the size of the gap Chubby must pass through. While the game is a good test of timing, there isn't much forgiveness in grazing the tips of the obstacles. The slightest contact made will end the game. Granted, at times my timing can suck, I couldn't help but think the game could use a little fine-tuning to offer a little forgiveness.
While game play can be challenging and at times irritating, Pencil Obstacle does have one annoyance that is hard to ignore. It is a free, ad-supported game, but the level of ad-support tends to beat you over the head. You will also see an ad-banner running across the top of the screen throughout Pencil Obstacle. There are also those annoying full-screen ads that will pop up frequently throughout the game. I understand and can appreciate ad support, but Pencil Obstacle would be a lot more appealing if it were dialed back just a bit.
There is a host of simple Windows Phone games available that challenging and entertaining ways to pass short bits of time with. Pencil Obstacle hopes to join those ranks but struggles to keep you pulled into the game.
The game's graphics are good, game play challenging, but Pencil Obstacle seems to lack that something, something to hook you into game play. It doesn't help being overwhelmed with ads, but the game just needs a little more pep in its step.
As is, Pencil Obstacle is a decent Windows Phone game to pick up from time to time. I just don't think many will be pinning the game to their Start Screen.
If you give Pencil Obstacle a try, let us know in the comments what you think of the game. Also, remember to rate the game in the Windows Phone Store to give the developer some feedback on the game.