Review: Tangle 1.1.1



I’m sure there’s a major discovery to be made in the world of science that would explain how my iPod headphones get tangled up so thoroughly and rapidly. It seems that no matter what cunning tricks I employ, nor how tidy I try to be, my headphones always appear in a knotted mess when I want to use them, which tends to make me angry on the scale of ‘want to kick a puppy’. Surprisingly, then, I really like Tangle, which, in a broad sense, is rather like untangling a set of iPod headphones or ten.

It’s safe to say that Tangle is gaming at its purest level. There are no characters or storylines. Instead, there are a bunch of green circles, connected with gray lines, displayed in an aesthetic manner that most 8-bit computers would have little trouble with. The idea is to drag the circles around until no lines are crossed, whereupon you’re provided with a jaunty little jingle, a time, and a means of accessing the next level (which has more lines to uncross).

Tangle isn’t rocket science—it has a kind of mindless quality that’s akin to Tetris. But as most people who’ve sampled Alexey Pajitnov’s classic will testify, it’s often the simplest games that are the most enduring. Although Tangle isn’t on a par with the Russian block-stacking game, and, frankly, is a little overpriced, it’s still a fun title to while away the odd half-hour. And despite the extremely basic visuals, on-screen feedback is clear, and the online leaderboard enables you to pit your capabilities against Tangle ninjas around the world.

Tangle screen grab
If this reminds you of your iPod headphones, I sympathize. I really do.

Further information

Manufacturer: MC Hot Software
Price: $20

14 responses to “Review: Tangle 1.1.1”

  1. Alex Vorn says:

    Hi! Link Exchange?:
    Mac Tips. All The Best!

  2. Michael K says:

    You could pay $20, or you could play for free (and cross platform!) on the web. Gotta love Flash.

  3. Devan says:

    See also donation-ware, web-based Planarity:

  4. Craig Grannell says:

    I’ve played that free version a few times before, and it’s pretty good, but more limited. Tangle at least enables you to easily select multiple nodes, and once you get past about level 10, the Flash version is a nightmare, due to its small window.

    Like I said, I think Tangle’s probably overpriced, but it’s a fun game, hence scraping a recommendation.

  5. Joe says:

    I tried the free one and don’t like it as much as Tangle. Can’t figure out why people keep insisting that free is better than paid. And as far as free goes, the online version prominently displays the Paypal donate button, which means Paypal is keeping track of all those who play. I’d rather keep my privacy and pay. OTH, $20 is too much. If they were charging $15 I would have bought it already. I blame Gruber.

    Craig, there is a secret to keeping your headphones tangle free and spare the puppies.

  6. Craig Grannell says:

    If it was $15, I’d be a little more wholeheartedly recommending it (at least on a US site – with the dollar rate, it’s a definite recommendation if you’re in Europe, frankly).

    As for the headphones, I saw the cunning loop-wrap thing a while back, which sort of works. Somehow, though, the gremlins always come back. And, for the record, no puppies were kicked in the making of this review.

  7. imajoebob says:

    I’ve always enjoyed a free web version without any pesky reminders.

    As for your earbuds, I used to think that plastic was for untangling the ends, but now I slide it to the top when I put them away to prevent tangles. 7 or 8 times out of 10 it works.