Ding and Dang Fire Fighters Ding and Dang Fire Fighters

Imagine an average day at work. There you are, sipping coffee as you fill out a spreadsheet with meaningless numbers, when… oh no! The entire building is on fire! “Oh my goodness, where are Ding and Dang, Fire Fighters?”

A lick of flame jumps to the cuff of your skirt. “Oh my goodness, now I’m on fire!” Naturally, you jump out of the window along with several dozen doppelgangers, all similarly ablaze. As the pavement below rushes toward you, you can’t help but wonder if this is what a falling star feels like as it disintegrates toward the earth. “Goodbye, cruel world! Goodbye Martha!” But then, at the last moment, they appear with their trusty gurney to save the day! “Thank you, Ding and Da–!” are the last things you utter as you splat against the ground mere inches away from the men(?) who would be your savior.

Not fighting the fire.

You never actually fight any fires.

Such is the tale being played out in Maysalward(MRD)’s latest iOS game, Ding & Dang Fire Fighters. Against all reason, this title has an aggregate score of 5 stars (from 65 reviews) on the App Store, which is why I’m here to tell you to not bother with it. I have a number of problems with this game, so here are some positive points for the sake of fairness:

It is free and does not have in-app purchases.

That’s about it. Ding & Dang shares many similarities with Nintendo’s Game & Watch classic Fire in that players move a pair of firefighters left and right as they attempt to catch victims of a fire in their trampoline. Unlike Fire, the victims disappear the moment they touch the trampoline, which removes the frantic strategy of bouncing several victims to safety at one time. There really isn’t any depth to Ding & Dang, and the controls are so poor that the simple task of positioning a trampoline becomes an exercise in frustration. The trampoline is so small that even my pinky obscures it completely, a problem that could have been solved with simple arrow buttons on the left and right of the screen. The graphics are simple and charming, but the environments lack variety, offering almost no color among their various burning buildings. Worst of all, the music is an unoriginal 15-second loop that plays throughout the entire game.

Frankly, it isn’t worth downloading. I would be interested to see more attempts to emulate Game & Watch classics on the iPhone because, in theory, it’s a winning idea. I just hope that developers take note of what made those games so delightfully replayable before putting their app on the App Store.