Strung Along Review
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Strung Along Review

Our Review by Jordan Minor on October 20th, 2014
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: GOT NO STRINGS
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A cool gimmick and a great art style keep Strung Along from completely falling apart.

Developer: Tommi Saalasti
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

In many ways, Strung Along is a lot like its shambling puppet protagonist. When it works, it barely holds itself together creating a surprisingly appealing piece of slapstick. However, it is also far too fragile.

Strung Along most resembles recent “weird walking” games like Octodad and QWOP. Players awkwardly guide a marionette across short levels where taking even the tiniest step can be an arduous process. However, while other games in the sub-genre give players a purposefully overwhelming amount of control over their characters limbs, things are more simplified here. Each button controls a different foot. Holding the button longer causes the puppet to take a longer stride. However, stretch out too far and the puppet will fall to pieces as its delicate strings snap. Carefully alternating steps is the way to go, along with cautiously jumping with both buttons, and things get especially tricky once moving platforms and falling obstacles come into play. Plus, players are encouraged to reach the goal under a certain time and step limit, creating a high level of risk and reward.

However, while this simpler control scheme may make Strung Along more initially accessible, it also makes the constant inevitable deaths more frustrating. When they have pinpoint precision, players know when they screw up. Here though, with more limited options, it’s harder to tell who is at fault when the puppet spontaneously combusts after getting snagged on a minor gap. It’s deflating.

At least players have plenty of opportunities to hone their skills. It will take numerous attempts to beat each of the game’s numerous levels, and players can unlock an endless mode as well. Replaying the game also gives players more opportunities to take in Strung Along's gorgeous, if unchanging, stagecraft art style with dramatic shadows and luxurious curtains. The puppet itself appears to be a 3D model, but there is a flowing painterly filter over it that oozes charm in motion.

Strung Along is tough, pretty, intermittently amusing theater. But there are better, funnier games about strange ambulation.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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