Released: June 2018

Format: PC

Ding Dong XL is the latest in a line of six games from Nickervision, which I featured all last week on my YouTube channel. Each game focusses on one button gameplay and has a variation on a theme – dodging whilst scoring. Ding Dong XL is the latest and one of the best of the series to date.

Ding Dong XL Screenshot
Simple arcade fun is sometimes all you need

You are a simple ball and each button press throws you from top to bottom of the screen. Doing so gives you a point so long as you avoid the shapes travelling at different speeds and sizes across the middle of the screen. Think Frogger but extreme. You are under no time pressure really to get across but you can’t help but want to rush because if you scrape alongside objects you break them and get double points. Get it wrong and hit one and its game over.

Powerups are on hand to make either yourself or the objects speed up or pause entirely and there’s a score boost power up too. It’s very simple but as things progress, it gets harder and it’s a fun time-waster on the local scoreboard challenge. Graphically things are nice as I really like the Tron/Geometry Wars style it embodies, the collision detection works fine and the soundtrack is not catchy but does pump you up a bit to get that high score. If I were to offer improvements, it would be around local multiplayer and letting up to 4 players play jump object.

Positives

  • Simple mechanics work well for high score challenges
  • Collision detection is on point
  • Perfect for a quick 5 minutes if that’s all you’ve got
  • Cheap when bought as part of a 6 game collection

Negatives

  • No online leaderboards
  • As a single player experience only, its somewhat limited in its appeal

Conclusion

Ding Dong XL is a case of great game mechanics at the price point you pay, but its own design limitations stop it becoming a must-have. Fun, but irrelevant and it won’t stay with you in the long term. Diamo XL is the most involved in the series if this tickles your fancy and you want something more, but the whole collection is cheap.

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