Mar 15, 2013
Good racing games need not require the fastest, most realistic cars. Sometimes they don’t even require cars with engines at all. Meet Slingshot Racing from Bolt Creative and publisher Crescent Moon Games. These cars are propelled by slingshotting around grappling points spread throughout the tracks, trying to jostle with other cars, hit speed boosts aligned on the tracks, and just finish as quickly as possible. The controls are simple: tap and hold on the screen to latch on to the nearest grapple point, and release to let go. The controls work 99% of the time, though rarely a different grapple point will be hit than what the player expects, but it’s otherwise easy enough to pick up on.
It is deceptive to think that the one-touch gameplay means the game is inherently ‘simple'; it’s easy to play but difficult to master as the old canard goes. Plus, plenty of acutal racing strategy comes into play. In particular, racing lines. Finding the right line for a course is essential, and just like knowing when to brake to take turns in a racing game, it is very important to know when the optimal moment to hook is. As well, there may be times when it’s better to take a longer curve with the hook in order to build up speed, and sometimes maybe it’s better to not grapple on to a point at all. There’s a surprising amount of strategy.
The courses can get a bit repetitive, as there’s a basic set that gets repeated across different modes, with slightly different permutations of each track. It’s a clever trick, but seeing old tracks reappear can be kind of annoying. The game looks great, and runs smoothly on the Nexus 7, a practically perfect port from the iOS original. There’s even a local multiplayer mode with up to 4 people where each person takes a corner of the device to tap on. The online mode added to the iOS version is missing, another sign that Google needs a Game Center equivalent now.
Slingshot Racing is a fantastic mobile racing game, one that exists outside of the normal racing game spectrum and offers plenty of fun in its easy-to-play package. I’ve had a ton of fun with this game and its Android version is still a ton of fun to play.
Slingshot Racing Review Rundown
App available on the Google Play Store »