Publisher: First5 Games
Developer: First5 Games
Category: Action platformer
Just when you thought the App Store had its fill of cutesy puzzle-platform adventures, a little game called Cling! has stretched its limbs into the fray to give the oversaturated genre the good old college try. But here’s the thing that sets Cling! apart from all the other shovelware legions of adorable creatures with lackluster gameplay: the game is an absolute joy to play and it reminds me of why I fell in love with App Store platform games in the first place.
In Cling!, you play as a purple, one-eyed creature named Edgar, who gets released from a gumball machine and sets off into the world to do whatever it is that purple one-eyed creatures tend to do. Cling! has the style and charm of those old N64 puzzlers like Glover and Iggy’s Reckin’ Balls, but presented as a smooth and colorful 2D platform game with pitch-perfect level design and touchscreen controls. The game features 60 challenging levels spread across 3 different environments, with gorgeous cartoony visuals and smooth animations. The only piece of the puzzle that leaves a bit to be desired in Cling! is the game’s soundtrack, which feels uninspired and repetitive compared to everything else that’s going on in this fascinating world.
Cling! utilizes an incredible style of gameplay that’s completely unique to the platforming genre, and works beautifully in the mobile games format. Each level is comprised of a field of blue pegs, which you must use to guide Edgar along a horizontal track full of obstacles and other hazards in order to reach the exit at the end of the stage. To do this, you hold your finger down on a cluster of pegs, and Edgar will stretch his tentacles out and walk his way over to wherever you guide him. The simple one-touch controls allow for a ton of flexibility in movement, by having him speed up or slow down, drop to the floor and stretch his tentacles to cross gaps in the fields of blue pegs.
It sounds easy at first, but the game introduces a ton of new gameplay mechanics at each and every turn, from gaps, to electricity hazards, to green pegs that repel Edgar, to performing a slingshot jump and other physics-based maneuvers that keep the game fresh and exciting. And trust me, these mechanics only scratch the surface of what Cling! will throw at you the further on you get. It’s amazing how such a simple concept can come off as feeling like a single-screen casual game one minute and a full-blown platform adventure the next. This is especially true on some of the lengthier levels later on in the game, where Edgar will need to traverse multiple areas with a series of check points in between.
There is a ton of replay value here as well and I hope we’ll see even more fun and innovative levels added in future title updates to Cling!. A handful of levels come with the added challenge of a Gumdrop collectable to find by veering off the beaten path and completing some of the most demanding platforming segments the game has to offer. You can use these Gumdrops as currency in the Gumdrop Shop, where you can buy different colored characters or clothing accessories like beanies or fedoras to keep Edgar looking fly on his journey. And good luck trying to earn the Gold Medal times on all 60 levels, as some of those time requirements will call for the utmost speed and precision on your part.
In the end, Cling! is everything a hardcore gamer could want from a casual mobile game. With smart and innovative gameplay, consistently varied ways to play and challenging level designs, this game will have you clinging to your tablet or smartphone, never wanting to let go!
Story – 9/10
Graphics – 10/10
Gameplay – 10/10