Reviews

Ding Dong XL review – Redefining The One-Trick-Pony

Like Pong but with less to do. And that’s just fine.

Ding Dong XL is an 89p game in which you ding and you dong, all with a single button. That’s not an understatement.

What’s the magic made out of, ding-dong?

Alright, so this is a super simple premise. You hit a button, the ball shoots from a launcher, travelling from one end of the screen to the other in a straight vertical line. The Ball stops in place when it reaches the other launcher, you hit the button again and it travels back. Each time it hits the other side; that’s a point. Your job is to simply time your shot to avoid the horizontally travelling shapes as they pass in increasingly chaotic waves.

There are a few power-ups, namely one to slow time down, one to boost points, one to nuke everything on screen and one to allow you to crash straight through the shapes, adding a little bit of variety.

Chasing the Pink Doughnut…

There’s also a risk/reward chance to rack up scores more quickly by skimming the shapes, which gives you something to concentrate on when you’re in the zone. Cosmetic rewards are unlocked by spending your cumulative points total and there are some fun designs with my personal favourite being the pink doughnut.

Think Geometry Wars in aesthetic style; lots of exploding neon. Everything’s silky smooth and, well, the single button press is responsive enough. All this plays out to the backdrop of a funky little electronic tune that loops.

Dopamine Nights

What makes the game more than your average arcadey mobile tapper? Well, mechanically, nothing. However, Ding Dong XL manages to do a sterling job of pulling the dopamine trigger as you try again and again to top that high score.

Throw in the dual mode where you can either control two at once or pass a JoyCon to someone you can blame your own failures on and you’re on to a winner. I found the combination of the sounds and bright visuals combined with the satisfaction of narrowly missing shapes as you rack up extra points gave me more enjoyment than I expected.

And that’s it. Nothing wrong with that.

Verdict:

Graphics: 7
Presentation: 7
Sound: 7

Gameplay: 7

Overall Score: 7/10

(Value for Money: 11/10)

Format: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PC, Android, iOS
Price: £0.89 (UK eShop)
Publisher: Nickervision Studios
Developer: Nickervision Studios

Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 22/04/19

Review based on purchased retail build.

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