Dactyl iPhone review

Dactyl iPhone reviewI have absolutely no idea why Dactyl is so-called. It certainly has nothing to do with Pterodactyls. Nor does it feature the creature from Greek mythology, or a moon.

What Dactyl does contain is an abundance of bombs, which you have to defuse with a tap of the screen; it’s essentially a mole-whacking game with bombs instead of moles, y’see.

Dactyl’s Classic Mode features a 3x4 grid of said bombs, and when one lights up you have a very short window in which to avert explosion by tapping it. If the bomb goes off, it’s game over.

Extended Mode is much the same as Classic, except that you have three lives. If a bomb explodes, it disappears, leaving a gap in the grid.

Dactyl is lightning fast, and you literally cannot blink or you will die a horrible death. Well, in the game at least. The real-life you will be just fine. Probably.

The controls are ok-ish, but invariably you end up obscuring the screen when you reach into the middle of the grid, with bombs turning red and threatening to explode while masked behind your fleshy claw. It wouldn’t be so bad if Dactyl wasn’t absolutely time-critical, but every microsecond counts.

There’s very little sound in Dactyl. Just a little noise whenever a bomb lights up red and a fairly rubbish explosion sound effect. Having said that, Dactyl is pretty much a test of concentration, so there’s not much need for a little ditty.

And, er, that’s it really. Dactyl, which is free “btw”, is intentionally light on features, as the developer, Mauvila, really wants you to fork out £1.79 for the sequel, ingeniously titled Dactyl 2. They describe it as a “bigger, meaner version of the original Dactyl.”

The free version of Dactyl has a local score board only, while the sequel has online leaderboards. Those cheeky devils.


  • It’s free
  • Challenging but fun


  • Low on features
  • Touchscreen obscuring thingy

Summary: Dactyl is fun and free. Definitely worth checking out first if you’re considering paying £1.79 for Dactyl 2.

Developer: Mauvila

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 2.0 or later.

Price: Free! @ App Store

Read more about: iOSApple iPadApple iPad 2Apple iPhoneApple iPhone 3GApple iPhone 3GSApple iPhone 4

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