What is this; an iOS racing game that completely breaks the mold? That is exactly what Slingshot Racing does. It is a game that was clearly tailor-made to work on iOS devices. It is simple, yet still manages to find a way to be challenging and fun.
Creating a game that only requires you to do one thing can be a challenge. How do you make simply tapping the screen to steer your car fun and exciting? Well thankfully, I do not make games so I do not have to deal with solving that problem. I will leave that up to talented developers like Crescent Moon Games.
The gameplay in Slingshot Racing is so incredibly simple; it seems shocking that no one else thought of it. You race your car around the track, but instead of controlling it like a normal car, you use a grappling hook to slingshot yourself around corners.
When the concept of a game is so simple, it all comes to level, or in this case, track design. If the tracks do not facilitate a fun and challenging environment, then the game will be a complete failure. Thankfully, the tracks in this game do a fantastic job of ramping up in difficulty to keep things entertaining.
There are plenty of modes to keep things fresh as well. There are straight forward races, time trials, runs that see you following a perfect line to gather items and even races that see you not only trying to beat your opponents, but also trying to survive a monster that eats the last place car.
Where this game really shines is in the multiplayer. It is all played on one device, so an iPad is the way to go. Each of you operates a car, and you sling your grappling hook by tapping your corner of the screen. For same device multiplayer, this is among the best I have seen.
Even through the multiplayer is game’s best aspect, the single player is still fun. It will get old after a while, but I managed to squeeze a few hours out of the game before I was looking for friends to up the ante with some multiplayer. You are trying to earn a good enough score on the tracks to unlock new areas. It is a good way to get you going back and trying to beat your best scores on earlier levels.
The controls section is going to be very short for this game. All you need to do is tap the screen to deploy your grappling hook when you come to a corner and release it at the right time. It is about as simple and straight forward as you can get, and it works perfectly.
For multiplayer, the controls are the same, except each of you has a corner of the screen that controls their car. I would not recommend trying it on the iPhone, as you will inevitable be getting in each other’s way. On iPad, however, it works flawlessly.
Slingshot Racing is presented in a top down view, which is perfect for this type of game. The art style is very steam punk inspired, which is fits well with the feel and style of the game. Overall, it is just a fantastic looking game.
The sound however, is not so great. The music in the game was annoying after a short amount of time. There is a rather small soundtrack, and hearing the same songs repeatedly prompted me to turn the music off altogether. The actual sound effects of the game are just fine, but it would have been nice to have a wider range of songs, especially when they are playing the whole time you are racing.
This game is good, so there is not much to improve. A few more modes and tracks could help liven up the single player game. The music is really my only significant gripe, and it is a fairly small one when you consider how much fun the game is to play.
The concept of Slingshot Racing sounds boring, but once you boot the game up and realize that the track design makes for a great challenge, that perception goes away quickly. This refreshingly simple game is an absolute joy to play. The music is less than stellar, and the single player campaign can get a little boring, but overall, this is a solid package, especially for only $.99. 8/10