Sticks, a high speed Windows Phone card game that could drive you nuts

Sticks is a relatively new Windows Phone puzzle game that has you building sets and runs of playing cards. The multi-level game is full of challenges and an annoying game clock that never has enough time on it.

Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Sticks is a fast pace, somewhat addictive time waster of a game. While the game could use a little fine-tuning with regards to the ad banner, we think it's a puzzle game worth a look.

Simple menu, fast game play

The general gist of Sticks is that you are given a playing field full of assorted playing cards (including a wild card) and a small collection of combinations and runs that you have to find before the 90-second timer hits zero.

The main menu has options to start game play, launch the tutorial, view your trophies and achievements and access the game's settings (sound/music). While Stick's isn't a difficult game to pick up on, go ahead and take the few minutes to run through the game's tutorial. The game lacks a help or reference section and the tutorial does a nice job of covering scoring multipliers and combos.

Sticks is a multi-level game but you always start game play at the first level and work your way up the ranks. The game does start off a tad mild but by no means is the first level a cake walk.

Your gaming screen for Sticks has your score and lives displayed across the top of the screen, your level challenges or sticks listed in the bottom left corner of the screen and the timer sits in the bottom center of the game screen.

You are afforded ninety seconds to build each of the required sticks. Sticks can be anything from finding a run (or straight) from any suit, find four of the same card, find a run from the same suit, etc. You begin game play with four sticks to build and as you advance through the levels, more are added to the mix.

To create a stick, just tap on the cards you need and then tap the "GO" button at the bottom. As you remove the sticks from the playing field, additional cards are supplied from the top of the screen to keep the field populated with cards. Should you lack the necessary cards to build a stick, you can always build random sticks in hopes that the right card falls into play.

Once you have built all your sticks you get to spin a point's multiplier and then add to your score by collecting random sticks with the remaining time. As a general rule, the longer the stick the more points earned.

Should you run out of time and fail to create all the mandatory sticks, fear not. You do have a number of lives available and if you haven't used them all up, you will get a fresh 90 seconds to finish building your sticks.

Overall Impression

Sticks is a game that grows on you but there is room for improvement. I like the fast pace of the game, making Sticks well suited to help you pass short bits of time. The sticks are challenging and you'll be surprised how hard it is to find the necessary cards from the playing field.

The room for improvement is most noticeable with the ad banner. I understand that ad-support helps keep apps and games free but the banners should not obstruct your score. Narrow the game screen header and move the banner to the bottom of the screen out of the way.

Next item in the Suggestion Box is to restart game play where you left off. If you made it to level 4 before losing all your lives, it would be nice to return to the game at that level. Okay… that may be too nit picky but the ad banner does need to be re-positioned.

Overall, Sticks is a simple game that can drive you nuts. Currently there are no user reviews in the Windows Phone Store (we would score it in the 4 Star range) so if you give Sticks a try, be sure to head over to the Store and toss out your review. These reviews help developers see what they are doing right and what they need to work on.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.