by Lenny Liang
January 13, 2012
There is a new game in the App Store, and it purports to be the Barry White of games. The best description of the game is given directly on its orange-splashed Web site:
Explore the intimate touch of each others fingers with Fingle's two-player puzzles. Break the ice or engage friends to get awkwardly close. Fingle is a cooperative two-player iPad® game about the thrills of touching each other on a multi-touch device. Two players drag up to five buttons of one color onto their matching targets; their movement makes it impossible to avoid contact, creating intimate moments with intertwined hands.Clearly, Fingle is not shy about its marketing angle. As one of its listed features, it states, “Music and visuals straight from the 70’s to get you in the mood.” Another feature characterizes Fingle as a great way to kick-start a romantic evening. I found it highly amusing that these descriptions were shown next to a picture of two kids playing the game. A lot of time and energy was put into packaging and presenting the game. What was surprising to me was that Fingle lived up to the hype. For a new release, it’s incredibly polished. The very first thing you see when you open the app, is a call to turn off multitasking gestures, which will interrupt the flow of the game (but is not always fatal to it). This is the kind of detail that many new apps would overlook. In terms of gameplay, it’s as advertised. You get a lot of finger action with your partner. If I was a twelve year old boy, this is exactly the type of game I would want to play with a crush. I tested the game with a group of friends and feedback was generally positive. One friend disliked the game, but that was because he was no good at it. Another friend enjoyed the game, but felt that the levels didn’t seem to really escalate in difficulty. I personally disagreed with that assessment; I found the levels plenty challenging. I chalk up my friend’s opinion to the fact that he was really good. Although Fingle is presented as a multiplayer game, my friend was able to play successfully by himself (which I would have said was impossible to do, if I hadn’t seen it done with my own eyes). So what’s the verdict? Is Fingle the Barry White of games? To borrow a phrase from my colleague Jamie Young, I’d say it’s more like Twister, but with fingers. Whatever it is, it’s fun. It’s personal. And I predict it’ll be a hit. Fingle is available in the App Store now for $0.99 (limited time price to celebrate its release).