Achieving balance in a chaotic world is something for which everyone strives. Now, there’s a game in the App Store that helps you achieve it. Well no, not really, but Bucketz, created by Picnic Hippo Studios, is an imaginative action-puzzler that throws much at you to manage and is a welcome change from revenge-fuelled catapult games.
There are a total of nine Bucketz, each with different capacities and distinct (if often cloying) personalities that perch, in various numbers and sizes, on a fulcrum. Players guide a variety of objects into the receptacles trying not to tip the balance and lose the whole lot. It’s a little like Fruit Ninja, in that objects pop onto the screen and quick reflexes are needed to clear the playing field. But Bucketz is so much more than bomb avoidance. Love him or hate him, you come to depend on the talkative, oft-witty narrator to explain the heaps of power-ups. These include Yin Yang’s that restore perfect balance, helium balloons to lighten the heaviest bucket’s burden, and power-downs like smoke grenades and evil minions.
There is still more to consider while attempting equilibrium. Some objects are not only too big for some buckets, but also too heavy and crush it completely. Other heavy weights are sure topple everything, so you have to juggle to prevent them from landing. On some levels the buckets are placed on a skewed axis, forcing your attention towards the physics.
At the end of each successful round coins come tumbling onto the screen. Players have to tap those that have value while avoiding those that deplete the haul. This in-game currency shouldn’t be hoarded. The shop is full of items, most of which are upgradeable, that you’ll need right away. The selection is as creative as everything else in the package and affordable without in-app purchases. It’s best to have lots on hand come boss battle time. While juggling the aforementioned and keeping things on an even keel, you’ll also have to ignore the taunts and tap repeatedly at the evil massive bucket when he appears on screen to dump even more junk on you.
The voice acting is excellent and rare enough in this type of iOS game, but it’s tiresome in large doses, despite being genuinely funny. Beyond that the game rewards players with what it asks of them: fast-paced problem solving and a light-hearted personality.