Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Snowbolt Games and Cresecent Moon Games have found a way to combine my favorite gameplay mechanic, grappling hooks, with a racing game in Slingshot Racing The combination is absolutely astounding.
Vehicles aren’t self-propelled; the only way to control them is to grapple on to points around the level, swinging around them to generate and maintain speed. Just a tap and hold of the screen makes the car grapple on to the nearest point, holding on to maintain the swing, and letting go to release from the point, to travel along its path. Trying to get the vehicle to go on a path that will keep it from slowing down by crashing into a wall or allowing it to maintain speed as it reaches the next grapple point is crucial.
Slingshot Racing is about repetition, and success comes from mastering the grappling mechanic and learning the best lines in each course. The various race types all incorporate this need for skill at the game in different ways. Standard races are 8 (or more) laps of jostling for position, trying to get past an opponent at just the right moment, taking advantage of a good swing, and making sure they can’t pass up again. The time trials, with added obstacles, require completing 3 laps as close to perfection as possible. The gear collection races involve collecting gears strewn throughout the tracks as quickly as possible, which essentially boils down to finding that perfect racing line. Finally, the Chomper challenges involve outracing a giant vehicle that devours anything it catches up to; endurance is the goal in these modes.
These different modes give the game fantastic variety, even while using the same mechanic. Courses are run both forward and backward, yet the different challenges of each mode makes them all feel like unique experiences. While a racing game is a bit of a departure for Crescent Moon Games as a publisher, it still has that feel of a game they’ve published, which means it looks absolutely fantastic. It’s universal with iCloud support, and iPad owners can enjoy 4-player single-device multiplayer as well.
Pretty much the only thing I want from this game is more. More tracks, ones that go out and take full advantage of the game’s elements. Some asynchronous online multiplayer options, like ghost racing competitions, would be welcome additions. The core package is fantastic, it just would be killer with more added on top of it.
Slingshot Racing is a ton of fun. The quick sessions make it perfect for pick-up-and-play gameplay, the grappling hook mechanic is very easy to learn, yet difficult to truly master. Snowbolt and Crescent Moon have absolutely nailed this game.