Developer: First5 Games

Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Cling! is a top-down 2D puzzle platformer featuring a cartoonishly cute hero, baddies, obstacles to avoid, and a shop to purchase other characters and assorted hats. Nothing terribly unique here, right? It’s all redundant; I can even think of three other iOS games right off the top of my head that feature heroes with hat fetishes. But, spend a few minutes playing with the perfect-for-touchscreen control mechanics and it quickly becomes clear Cling! is much more than just another iPhone game.

Developers First5 Games call Cling! a PEGformer rather than platformer and it’s apt. The game sets Edgar – a little purple eyeball with tentacles – on to mazes filled with pegs. Players just touch the peg they want Edgar to head towards and he climbs – or rather clings – his way over by stretching his appendages. The controls are superb. Edgar can move delicately, or be flung over, under, and around obstacles all with one finger and minimal practice.

That practice is important though because Edgar’s journeys are not calm. He has to face angry red baddies who create traps for him, deal with pegs that repel, spikes that puncture him, jump over electrified hurdles, get through doors, ride elevators… and that’s just in the first 10 levels of the three included acts – or worlds. The levels are short, and as much puzzle as platform as players have to figure out exactly how much velocity and momentum they need to get Edgar to the goal, or at least a check point.

The other thing Edgar likes to do is collect hats. One can be found early on, but most are hidden on harder puzzles. And of course, a bevy of fedoras and pillboxes, along with Edgar’s rainbow-colored friends are available for in-game currency. Gumdrops are not easy to collect, but they also don’t buy anything game enhancing. You can get them by the bowl with in-app purchases.

The graphics are wonderful with pastel steampunk backgrounds and boards that evoke old-time penny arcade games. The animations are highly polished. The touch controls are wonderful, and an alternate virtual joystick is available in the settings menu.

Cling! offers some serious challenges early on, and good luck getting gold medals on all the levels – trying certainly adds for a lot of replay value. First5 Games is hinting that a level editor is coming soon in an update, which will add even more.

There’s not much to complain about. There are only 12 Game Center achievements to earn and I’d like to see more in an update. But beyond that this game is a wonderfully complete touchscreen gem. Just be forewarned – Cling! clings to gamers’ addiction centers.


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