Gubs, an iOS implementation by Yeti Trunk of a physical card game, is a quirky and addictive little title that provides quick bursts of Gub-protecting fun between more lengthy game-playing sessions.
Each of the three players in a game of Gubs is dealt a starting hand, then proceeds to play and draw cards until the three G-U-B letter cards in the deck have been uncovered. The object of the game is to be the player with the most Gubs – little cartoon amphibian-like creatures – in play at the end of the game. A clever mix of luck, skill and tactics is involved, with victory often being snatched away at the very last moment.
There are several types of cards in the game: the Gubs themselves; Barricade cards which (usually) protect the Gubs from being trapped, destroyed or lured away; Trap, Event and Hazard cards which have some detrimental effect on you or your opponents’ cards; and Tool cards which can be used to thwart an opponent’s move, or free a trapped Gub.
Gameplay is well-balanced, with the random nature of the cards keeping you on your toes throughout. Think your Gubs are safe behind that line of mushrooms? Think again as they are all lured away by a canny (or lucky) opponent in one fell swoop. Proud of your mighty and hard-earned Gub legion? Despair as you draw the Dangerous Alchemy card and have them all blown to bits…
Simple enough for youngsters to learn, but deep enough for older players to also enjoy, Gubs has that one-more-go quality to it which so many games in its genre can only dream of.
Gubs is implemented well, with nicely hand-drawn artwork and pleasing music and sound effects bringing the world of these little forest-dwelling creatures to life. With is simple draw-and-play mechanic, controls are easy and well enough executed.
Double-tapping any card magnifies it and explains its game effect; and a simple in-game tutorial is available to help first-timers familiarize themselves with the easy-to-follow rules. Unlockable achievements are also in place for those who like that kind of thing.
The only real downside to Gubs is its lack of options. It is single-player only: and even at that, you have no choice of how many opponents you wish to play against, or over how many rounds. In the iOS implementation of Gubs you can only play one way: against two AI opponents over one round.
Whilst not being a Gubs-killer, this does limit the overall appeal and longevity of the game, although its gameplay and charm still manage to shine through (even more so if you decide to pay the small fee to unlock the free version and remove the between-game adverts).
With its addictive, no-two-games-the-same gameplay and its unique style & charm, Gubs is an easy title to like, and to recommend. Future updates to expand the gameplay options or to add online capabilities would be most welcome – until then however, those little green Gubs still have quite a lot to offer.