Simplicity is underrated. The hardest design decisions are, almost always, what to leave on the cutting room floor, and then how to best use what’s left. TEETHING: the first game from William Robinson and Robyn Nevison, is just that, a simple concept well executed.
As the name suggests, you play a tooth, in the dangerous, cavity inducing environment of a candy filled mouth. Your job is to stay healthy; by avoiding falling candy, whilst collecting toothpaste to heal, and crowns dropped by the tooth fairy to trigger randomized power-ups. Such gameplay has been seen many times before, all the way back to the days of 8-bit, but it still manages to be addictive in the fleeting moments when you pull out your phone to play.
Just like gameplay, TEETHING’S art is simple, no flamboyant particle effects here, just simple, crisp and completely adorable 2D art. From your little tooth, which dodges across the screen, (the only dental feature, ever to have customisable moustaches) to the dropping candy, and tonsils which jiggle about in the background, every element is quirky and cute in equal measure.
In-game audio dynamically shifts in tone – whilst always carrying the retro feel – depending on your level of damage, and whether you’ve acquired a power up, adding a little snippet of threat to the otherwise fluffy veneer.
For 99c / 69p you really can’t go wrong with TEETHING, it’s cute, but challenging, it’s the kind of game that you can pass to your child or girlfriend to keep them entertained, and enjoy yourself. It’s not perfect; the tilt controls are a little bit loose, but you can use buttons, and autosave would be nice, but then it is designed for short play sessions. TEETHING is quite possibly the cutest and most charming little game you’ll play all year, and you can get it on iOS now.