Cling Thing Review

Chillingo, the publisher of dozens of iOS games like Bridgy Jones and Bombcats, has just released a new physics-based puzzler Cling Thing on the App store. Developed by Atom-Soft, this fresh looking game allows you to tap the screen to extend your cling thing’s stretchy tendrils to your surroundings and to drag your cling thing through 96 levels of puzzles.

The thing in Cling Thing refers to a bunch of circular creatures, whose outline somehow reminds people of the character in Contre Jour. These curious-looking fellows have only one eye and constantly make squeaky sounds. Clingy is the accurate description of them as they can shoot one or more sticky tendrils to cling on other stuff. The player’s task in the game is to control a thing to move around in a scene, collect the scattered stars, look for the key and finally reach the exit: the vent pipe.

A thing moves with its tendril. By tapping and holding on a point on the screen, the player can make the thing to stretch one elastic tendril and reach to the nearby walls or surface of any objects within its range. If where it touches is covered with blue or red goo, then the thing will successfully cling on it. Based on this function, the player can navigate a thing to move around the scene and perform some quite challenging movements. The gameplay in Cling Thing owes some debt to another popular puzzle game, World of Goo, as both games are physics-based, feature gooney creatures and involve getting the target object into the vent pipe.

In Cling Thing, there are over 96 challenging levels with 480 stars to find and gather. The levels fall into four chapters. In each chapter, the player gets to meet a different clingy creature. All levels are cleverly designed, and it gets complex and tricky as you progress. In each scene, the player needs to control the thing to stretch, jump and dangle in order to get to the intended location. The player might encounter situations in which he or she needs to use multiple touches to stretch multiple tendrils, squeeze through a tiny space, remove obstacles, and dodge dangers. The only danger the thing needs to be aware of are the spikes. Touching a spike or spiky objects/creatures, the thing will explode like a balloon. Factors like real physics, gravity and elastic force should always be taken into account while playing the game.

A level is cleared as long as the thing manages to reach the vent pipe (sometimes it will need to locate the key first). However, only by collecting the stars can the player has a chance to earn medals. A countdown starts once the player successfully collects all three stars. And based on the time the players used to reach to the exit, he or she can be awarded with a Gold/Silver/Bronze medal plus bonus points.

Cling Thing is one of the most interesting and addictive games I’ve ever played. It is lighthearted, fun, and anything but a letdown. The control suits touchscreen and the brilliantly designed levels are really challenging, plus the cartoony graphics and hilarious aural presentation completes the package.