Tongue Tied has a very cartoon-like aesthetic, in both graphics and sound, which makes it feel like an old cartoon short. The stars of this “gametoon,” if you will, are a pair of dogs named Mick and Ralph, two lovable canines who have a very unique dynamic. The two plod along through each stage together, and surmount obstacles through the use of their tongues… which are inexplicably tied together.
Of course, unless you’re the sort of person who wonders why Mickey often wears only a pair of shorts while Donald goes pantsless, then the reason why likely won’t matter to you. The main thing is that the tied tongues of the title allow these two to perform some terrific tricks to traverse their terrain. This is due to the elasticity of the two tongues, which allow one dog to be pulled back and flung, just like in so many other iPhone games.
And while there are targets to hit, allowing you to obtain bone emblems for points and ever-higher scores, that is only a small part of how their tongues are used. By pulling one dog back and letting him fly, you can help the dogs leap across pits and platforms. There are other tricks as well; you can leave a dog hanging by taping him, allowing you to have one dog run along above (which they do automatically), while the other gathers bones below. Flinging the dog can have him spin around with the other dog as his axis, allowing for more bone gathering and tricks.
As you progress, more and more obstacles are introduced, including dynamite which cannot be touched, hot coals, tire swings, mud, and more. These can get tricky to avoid or use as necessary, especially if you want the bones placed precariously around the hazards.
Attached at the mouth.
It sounds simple, but it takes practice to master. And even when you get the hang of it, there is still a lot of trial and error. This is especially true when shorter platforms begin to appear, giving you little time to react or see ahead of you. This aspect is the game’s only particularly grating flaw. You have unlimited lives, but you’ll have to begin each time from the beginning of the level. It’s all or nothing, which is why the rather short level lengths are not such a bad thing.
The game has a pretty good amount of replay value, too. Smashing open sacks and crates of bones and goodies is tougher than it seems, and you may not always succeed. The standard game has 50 levels, and by succeeding in its 30 challenges, you can acquire unlockables as well. On top of that, the developers are promising more content to come over the next 12 months, all for free.
Tongue Tied is a solid, fun game with a pleasing sense of style, and it seems to have a long life ahead of it. And compared to what some other publishers try to get away with peddling on the App Store, it’s a great value, too. It may not be the most mind-blowing experience we’ve ever laid our hands on, but it’s still plenty of fun just the same, and what it does, it does well.