Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

image 1Cling Thing starts off with some great, but little, moments. They feel fleeting. However, then another great little moment appears and another and another. Eventually, these seemingly small yet neat tricks cling together to form a superb whole.

In Cling Thing, players guide wacky Madballs-esque creatures to the end of each stage by using their slimy, stretchy, sticky tendrils to move around. The action resembles World of Goo but with just one ball to manage instead of dozens. Those two games also share a similar creative drive to get the most out of their deceptively simple yet deep mechanics. Early levels are pretty straightforward where all the creatures have to do is slime-swing to the end of the stage Spider-Man style. However, later stages introduce doors that need keys, blocks that need moving, wheels that need to be spun, and underwater areas with new physics that need new approaches.

To overcome these hurdles players are gradually taught a slew of clever sticky techniques like using multitouch to steady a ball between two weblike strands. On their own, these are relatively minor touches, but together they keep the game constantly feeling fresh. It doesn’t hurt that the great controls allow for precise movement and momentum manipulation. Medals give incentives for speed runs and the controls feel so good that players will want to master them.

Cling Thing’s diverse mechanics and the approximately 100 levels that put them to good use are its most obviously satisfying elements. However, the game’s presentation holds up its end of the bargain too. The designs of the creatures and environments recall kiddie gross-out humor. But then that tone is gently subverted by the pleasant, almost storybook-like acoustic music and general atmosphere. It’s a dissonance that works though and it makes the game almost as interesting to look at and listen to then it is to play.

Cling Thing is a tight, inventive, wonderfully designed game. It’s sure to stick with any player who gives it a shot.


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