If you've ever played one of those toy-snatching crane machines at a fairground arcade, you're going to feel right at home with the core gameplay of Dingle Dangle. For reasons unknown, you're the pirate captain of an airborne ship on a mission to rescue the Dingles of the land who have somehow found themselves trapped underground.
To do this, you need to lower and raise a rope that dangles from the underside of the ship using a little lever on the right-hand side of the screen. When the rope comes into contact with a Dingle, he'll latch on automatically, and any other Dingles you bump into will latch onto their furry friend. You've only got so much rope to play with though, so you'll need to lengthen it with Dingles before swinging it around the rest of the screen with tilt controls. Once you've grabbed as many as you can, you need to raise the rope and pull them into the belly of the ship.
The Dingles themselves come in a variety of different colors, and each Dingle can only latch onto another Dingle of the same color. Fortunately, there are little colored fireflies dotted around each level - dangle your Dingles into one of these and they'll all assume the firefly's color, allowing you to pick up another furry little friend. That Dingle will also get a little bit larger though, potentially blocking your route through the cavern.
Each of the game's 60 levels are graded out of three stars: one's awarded for completing a level, another for getting every Dingle back on the ship, while the final star is awarded for completing the level within a set time. In the early levels it's safe to say you won't have too much trouble picking up all three stars, although you might need a second attempt to beat the time limit.
It gets a lot trickier in the second and third chapters of the game, however. Here you'll have to contend with spiked surfaces which spell a sticky end for any Dingles that swing into them, and in the later levels you'll have to tackle underground lava which sporadically spits across the screen, melting your dangling rope should the two come into contact with each other.
As you play the game though, you pick up gems which can be used to buy some handy upgrades in the cash store. There are metallic dangling chains which can't be melted, for example, hammers which demolish bothersome spikes, and rainbow spells which change all of the Dingles to the same color.
This is the only area where we had a slight reservation with Dingle Dangle. The difficulty of the final chapter is considerably higher than the earlier stages, and you're almost certainly going to want those chains of steel if you're looking to max out every level. If you haven't acquired enough gems by that point, you're looking at a trip to the cash store for some extra gems.
With that said, it's still a fun game that offers up something a little bit different on the App Store. The Dingles themselves have bags of charm and personality, and while the gameplay is a little repetitive, there's plenty of challenge to be had for those who simply must get every star. Any physics puzzle fan will definitely want to get their hands on this latest release from Chillingo.
What's Hot:A fresh addition to the App Store that's packed with personality.
What's Not:Simplistic gameplay that can get a little repetitive. It can be tricky to complete later levels without gems.