String It! is a mobile game that combines sharp reflexes, quick thinking and careful micromanagement on a mobile device screen to create a simple game that might not go down in history as the best game ever, but will definitely keep your kids entertained long enough for you to watch an episode of Seinfeld in peace.
The game was built by Vertical Depth Studios for iOS-powered devices. It is a vertical game, going from bottom to top, and the goal is to score as many points possible, by stringing balloons together. The game also has a horizontal mode, going from left to right, which it presents to the player as a “more challenging one.”
The balloons are floating up to the sky (or through it, if going horizontally), and the only way to convert them to points is to string them together, after which they move away from the screen. In order to string the balloons, the player must drag his fingers from one balloon to the other. Stringing balloons gives points: those of same colour add an additional bonus, as well as stringing multiple balloons together.
No learning curve
The more balloons you manage to string together, the more points you score. When a total of five balloons are missed and reach the top of the screen, the game is lost.
There is also another way to lose the game. The sky is sometimes chequered with dark, lightning clouds, and if you should, by accident, touch them you get electrocuted and the game is over.
Even though it’s very simple, the game can be quite intense. As more balloons and more clouds pop up on the screen, you’re forced to think quickly and have sharp reflexes. Be careful not to touch the clouds while stringing your balloons together which is like two to three tenths of a second here.
And that’s basically it. You’re now ready to play and achieve a score as high as possible.
When I first played the game I used an Android version, which turned out to be outdated and discontinued. There were tons of features the game was missing and I was fairly disappointed.
Android vs iOS
However, playing the iOS version was very refreshing and a positive surprise.
The game offers all the additional features it needs to be a complete product. It has a virtual currency which can be used to buy various themes. These themes bring cosmetic changes to the game and are a nice add-on.
The virtual currency can be obtained by playing the game, as well as buying for real money. The transactions go from $0.99 to $3.99 for coins, as well as $1.99 to remove the ads.
The ads appear as a pop-up once a level is done – or when you lose the game. They cover the entire screen, but they’re not annoying as they only appear once the game is done.
While playing the game, you will encounter special balloons which have boxes attached to them. The boxes are filled with coins, thus rewarding the player for sticking around in the game.
The social aspect
The social aspect of the game has also been covered. After playing the game and achieving a score, you will be placed on a leaderboard which covers all the players playing the game. There is also the option of sharing your score on Facebook and Twitter, a move which the game rewards with five coins.
Playing the game on both Android (older version) and iOS (newer version) has given me insight on the game’s progress through time. As far as I can see, the developers have ticked all the boxes needed for the creation of a proper mobile game. It utilizes the touchscreen interface to its maximum potential and brings a gaming experience that’s simple, fun and engaging. The older version seemed crude and designed as means of keeping your toddlers busy while you watch a football game, but the final version is a complete, well-designed product with solid gameplay, well-implemented virtual currency and proper social integration.