I always find it endearing rather than annoying when I encounter a typo or a phrase lost in translation. It encourages me to look harder at a game, trying to uncover any other amusing errors.
So when the words "YOU LOOSE!" flash on the screen after an untimely demise, it's hard not to be entertained by Dinky Ball. Despite first impressions that suggest a plain, if not problematic puzzler, this is a surprisingly satisfying package.
Though played out in what appears to be a 3D world, Dinky Ball is essentially a 2D affair. The idea is to navigate maze-like circular platforms in order to get the ball to the finish line - denoted as a red cube - before time runs out. Tilting your device move the ball around a circular podium and taps of the screen trigger jumps.
Time is the big issue here. On some stages, you have almost a minute to make your way to the goal. Such levels are more a case of navigating tricky leaps and gaps in the path than getting to the cube at pace.
These are countered by incredibly short levels where just a few seconds fill the clock. It really is a mixed bag in the best sense. Some stages constitute nothing more than judging a particularly tricky jump, while others area veritable stairway to heaven.
As you make you way through all 60 levels, new elements begin to pop up that gradually stretch out play: blocks that slow you down, blocks that speed you up, blocks that pelt you into the air and blocks that simply disappear all begin to have an effect, changing your strategy and radically altering the challenge as a whole.
Even levels seemingly repeated actually switch around a vital elements at the last moment just to fox you.
Until the level loads up, you have no idea what's going to be required of you when each stage is unlocked. Dinky Ball never lets complacency creep into play even though what's required is usually fairly simple.
Simple is by no means the same as easy. While many levels take less time than it takes most people to pop the kettle on, the threat of failure and the pace often needed to succeed keeps driving you forward.
The only slight sour moment is when the game fails to register your ball as reaching the goal. It only happened twice, though it was totally annoying to have to replay a level that I'd just completed.
Nevertheless, Dinky Ball is in good company, appealing in the same way that Super Monkey Ball does. Though little more than a puzzler to fill an afternoon or two, it has the variety and confidence to ensure that any afternoon spent indulging its play would be one well spent.