[Review] Ding Dong XL – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Nickervision Studios
  • Publisher: Nickervision Studios
  • Release Date: 22/04/2019
  • Price: £0.89 / $0.99
  • Review code provided by: Nickervision Studios

Before we crack on with the intricacies of the performance of Ding Dong Xl, both on a technical level, and from the perspective of game play and outright entertainment, I ask that you all read the embedded tweet thread below, to get a sense of this project from one man studio extraordinaire, Adam Nickerson.

Getting Ding Dong XL on a Nintendo system was clearly a passion project, therefore, I wanted in! Reviewing a game like this would certainly be a challenge. But if I don’t do it, who will? Well, many people actually. Ding Dong XL done gone viral!!

Ding Dong!!

The premise of Ding Dong is simple – circumnavigate from the top of the screen to the bottom, and then back again, Simple right?!
Well, yes and no!
You only ever need to use one button when playing, which in the very brief tutorial is shown as ZR (although you can press A instead if face buttons are more your marmalade.)
Obviously a game that involved bouncing a ball from top to bottom of the screen sounds like a really boring version of Pong, which is why it’s a huge relief that Ding Dong XL offers so much more.

Firstly, there are obstacles. Coloured shapes traverse from left to right, and right to left, in an attempt to stop your own progress. They move at different speeds, have varying masses and once there is a mad old mix of shapes trying to cripple your quest for a new high score, things can get very hectic indeed. The green swirling batons are particularly nefarious buggers.

Ding Dong XL is a very limited experience. There is one game mode, nothing more. Every time you register a score, those points are added to what is essentially your wallet and can be spent on unlocking different game icons. These range from basic colour pallets to, say a dog’s head. If for some backwards reason you so desired, you could even; once unlocked of course, play as former Nintendad alum and Switch Island resident Benji Cong…

With it’s origins being on Steam and mobile devices it does show it’s affiliation to certainly the latter, albeit an incredibly polished one. That being said Ding Dong XL absolutely belongs on Nintendo Switch.

Double XL, Double XL!!

Ding Dong XL looks sharp and runs smoother than the proverbial rear end of a tiny human, which is an incredibly important thing, certainly in the case of Ding Dong XL, which as aforementioned can quickly become a place of plentiful action. If Nintendo Switch did screen time reports, Ding Dong XL on a Sunday morning would be up infinitely week on week. The music starts brightly, offering a firm young melody paired with a kicking tune and finished with some thumping bass! God, I sound so old!

Unfortunately, Ding Dong XL’s soundtrack never develops and soon becomes repetitive. This would be fine if there were options for an alternate song or two. I’m nitpicking here (kind of my job) but for a sub £1 title, you should probably take it with a flake of delicious Maldon.

Ding Dong, the witch is dead

As a child of Nintendo, there is one thing I value above nearly everything else – a product that has been strenuously tested and polished to the nth degree. It delights me to report that Ding Dong XL is, at least during the many, many hours that I’ve spent with the game bug free. Huzzah!

Cogito, ergo sum

As I’ve potentially alluded to, if not directly, certainly between the lines, Ding Dong XL is the perfect pick up and play experience, offering a tonic for a brief respite or a hearty brew that will keep you going in a vigorous demeanour long into the early hours of the morning.

Surprisingly, the game play never grows stale, even after a prolonged session – the addictive nature of the title taking over and pushing you towards ‘just one more try’. Unfortunately the soundtrack does wear thin in no time at all. The inclusion of an online leader board that could be sorted to include, for example, people on your Nintendo Switch friends list would be a fantastic QOL addition.

Pros

  • Stupidly addictive
  • Perfect for quick or extended plays
  • Highly polished

Cons

  • Repetitive soundtrack
  • No alternate modes
  • Lack of leader boards

Verdict
Ding Dong XL offers a highly polished mobile style game on Nintendo’s hybrid system, that will keep players coming back for ‘one more’ go.
3.5/5
Fifield

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