Stairs is rather simple and therefore rather accessible to players, requiring only one finger for input. You control a ball that bounces up an endless flight of stairs, one step at a time. With each step comes an extra point added to your score and - as you might guess - the goal is to get the highest score. The challenge in Stairs comes from the numerous spikes placed on the steps and the odd step that moves around. Avoiding these will ensure you don’t lose your run along with not falling off the staircase. Either of these two will see your ball fade away into a cloud of smoke, resulting in the end of the playthrough.
There is however a way to multiply your score and help you get the highest score around. On each step you will find a white circle that, once bounced on, will start building up a score multiplier. It takes a few of these circles to reach the max multiplier, and if you miss one it will end it right away. Thanks to these white circles being on each step the chance to rebuild your multiplier is immediate should you miss one.
Thanks to a recent update, the game also includes a number of challenges that can be completed to further the gameplay and earn more gems. Throughout your endless climb you will also find pink gems that can be picked up. Some are also rewarded at the end of a run and these are then spent on unlocking different shaped and coloured balls to control. The challenges offer bigger rewards in designed levels that will put your step climbing skills to the test. These are fun and demanding but actually feel rewarding, unlike the endless mode.
Stairs however is not without its problems: the main one coming in the form of its use of adverts. Now, most free mobile games have some sort of monetisation in place. This can be adverts, in-app purchases or even a one-time purchase to remove said advertisements. Stairs chooses to have the former with no option to remove them. That is fine, having a small pop-up window now and again, but with Stairs that is not the case. Far too often I would start playing, climbing up those colourful stairs only to have an advert pop up in my face. Not a problem, I’ll just close that and continue playing. No, wait. I’m dead. The game does not pause gameplay when an advert appears meaning you lose your progress and have unneeded downtime. Why it was designed this way is beyond me because it is a real shame.
In the end, Stairs is by all accounts a good mobile game. It has a simple control system that is accessible to many, features a good amount of content and is able to be played in short bursts. What ruins the experience is the choice of monetisation and having adverts literally ruin the gameplay. Sure, you can just start again and ignore the lost few seconds but it becomes annoying far too quick. Stairs is still on my phone mind you, as I continue to work through the challenges. If you can overlook the annoying use of pop-ups then you may enjoy this little game as well.
The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.
With a simple control system that is accessible to many, Stairs is a good mobile game with plenty of content. The choice of monetisation and having adverts literally ruin the gameplay with continues pop-ups puts a downer on the experience.