Cling Thing, a quirky physics puzzler developed by Atom-Soft and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. Featuring solid physics and cool level design, Cling Thing does a lot right without doing anything exceptional.
Cling Thing Pros:
- Colorful, cartoon graphics and interesting level design
- Simple tap controls are intuitive
- Multitouch allows for creative solutions; speed-based medals challenge player to solve puzzles quickly
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards and achievements to earn
Cling Thing Cons:
- Multitouch responsiveness isn’t great; fingers obscure view of screen
- Didn’t really grab our attention; felt very average
You play as a multi-tentacled creature who must manipulate his arms to move his body around each level and collect stars while avoiding obstacles. It’s easy to draw comparisons to Tentacle: Enter The Dolphin, as the main characters are quite similar. There are 96 levels across 4 worlds to work through, and the game introduces new elements at a consistent clip to change up your strategies needed to find success. Spikes will immediately puncture and kill the creature, whereas spinning wheels can be linked to and used to create momentum that allows you to access hard-to-reach areas. In fact, any surface covered in blue goo can be linked to by the creature’s tentacles. His tentacles will draw him in once connected, though multi-touch allows for multiple tentacle arms to be used at once, offering greater control in moving the creature around. Red goo surfaces create ropes when attached which do not contract. We found the multi-touch a bit awkward to use and our fingers obscured a good deal of the screen.
In order to collect the three stars in each level, you’ll sometimes need to capture a key that removes a barrier wall, giving you access to a goo surface or blocked star that was previously unreachable. The speed with which you collect the three stars and reach the end pipe will be rated with bronze, silver, or gold medals. Level design is clever, and there are plenty of opportunities to manipulate the environment in fun and interesting ways, like moving rocks to unclog a passageway. The graphics are on par for popular games in the same genre, failing to stand out but managing to retain a polished feel. The soundtrack is similarly average and the controls allow you to fire a tentacle in the direction of your finger presses. Tentacles have a finite distance, so not all attempts to connect with surfaces will be met with success. Those that do will remain connected until your release your finger from the screen.
Replay value is pretty good, as nabbing gold medals can require several playthroughs to nail the timing and order of events to best the target times. GameCenter integration provides global leaderboards and a couple dozen achievements to earn, too. A universal app for $0.99, Cling Thing is a worthy 3.5-Dimple game.
Cling Thing Review,