Just released from Nitrome, creator of Skywire and Hot Air: a brand new physics-based action game, Dangle. In Dangle you control a spider hanging from a neon pink line of webbing. By swinging back and forth you must work your way down each stage, avoiding enemies and collecting coins along the way. Dangle has some of that same Nitrome magic we've come to expect in all of the company's releases. Only this time it's a little more arachnid-like.
Control the spider's sway by moving the mouse left and right, gaining momentum with each tug. To climb back up the web, move the cursor above the spider and click. To descend, just point the cursor down and click. The spider will stick to platforms it stands on, so you'll need to climb back up and restart your swing from time to time. It takes a few stages to get used to, but fortunately Dangle keeps the difficulty quite low for several levels to let you get the feel of things.
But of course it's never just a straight drop down. You'll need to weave your way around platforms, often using trial-and-error to discover the only path forward. Fans, spikes and enemies don't make your day any easier and constantly threaten to take away your precious little spider life. Sometimes a heart will be hidden amongst the coins, so keep an eye peeled for those valuable gems.
Your only goals in Dangle are to collect coins, score points, and complete every stage. Fairly straightforward, but the challenge comes from the arcade-style swinging and enemy avoiding.
Analysis: With a studio as respected (and productive) as Nitrome, its main competition will always be itself. It's almost impossible not to compare each successive game with the last, which is unfair in some ways, as the games are not necessarily meant to fit together. It's the price of continually setting the bar of quality/fun higher with each release.
Viewed as a standalone game, Dangle really wouldn't have any flaws (except, perhaps, being too simple at times). But putting it in a lineup next to Scribble and Frost Bite makes me squint my eyes with scrutiny. Compared to Nitrome's other games, Dangle turns down the color palette quite a bit and strips some strategy from its gameplay. It's also easier to complete and as a result feels much shorter. None of this takes away from the enjoyment of the game, of course.
Short, creative and more fun than playing with spiders should be.