Despite all my juvenile instincts to make suggestive jokes because of its name, Dingle Dangle is just too darn cute for me to do so. I feel like I would be robbing it of some of its charm and innocence by pointing out the obvious. It is, after all, an iOS game that's titled Dingle Dangle. But I digress. On to this whimsical, physics-based puzzle game.

The setup of Dingle Dangle is simple. You take control of a rope that's, uh ... hung down from the side of a pirate airship (steady yourself, must resist). With this rope, you will have to lift out adorable little ball creatures. Of fur, that is.

These are the Dingles. They will need your help in order to be liberated from the winding tunnels they are trapped in underground. The rope in question is operated by a lever, which resides in the corner of the screen. You also have the option to control things with the use of buttons. But who can resist a big, 'ol lever?

But here is where some control problems arise. For a game that's so simple in premise and charming in appearance, there's definitely some surprising frustration that's involved. In order to swing the rope around, you will have to tilt your iOS device in the direction you want. This sounds fine on paper.

In practice, it can be a bit cumbersome, especially when you are trying to land the rope in a precise area. Too often I found my dangle coming up short (watch yourself now), and landing just shy of some waiting Dingles. And all the while, the Dingles will keep chattering at you.

Adding to this is the pause-screen feature that is continually interrupting the gameplay. The way it's set up is that when you tap on the screen, it will pause the action. But instead of being convenient, it leads to a lot of inadvertent hiccups in the action, with the screen constantly freezing after the merest whisper from the touch of your finger. There were a few times where I swear that I never even touched the screen, but it paused anyway. Eventually, I learned to not interrupt the game, but it didn't feel intuitive at all.

Aside from the control issues here and there, the majority of Dingle Dangle is pretty solid for a simple physics puzzle game. After you get through the first couple of levels, which essentially serve as warm-up tutorials, then you get into some surprising depth. Extra gameplay elements are slowly added in, to the point where, later on in the game, I found myself having to plan ahead and map out a strategy for getting through a level. You will have to change the colors of the Dangles and do some surgeon-level tilting in order to extract everything.

Like every other game out there nowadays, there are in-app purchases that you can get to supplement your copy of Dingle Dangle. But they are not necessary in order to enjoy the game. You can still make it through without them, even though they might make it a little bit easier.

But there are no shortage of whimsical items that you can get to gussie up your experience. All you need to do is just save up on gems, which are the in-game currency that you will collect along the way.

If they can tweak the controls a bit, Dingle Dangle will be a decent contender in the charming physics-puzzler genre of iOS games. But from where it stands now, it still needs some work. That said, I still will not make fun of the name. But I better end this review now before it's too late.


App Store Link: Dingle Dangle for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 43.6 MB | Rating 4+

6.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating