Review: Fling (Xbox Live)
Miniclip have a strong catalogue of Xbox Live titles and, if you look at the titles, there are certain things Miniclip like to do. They like to have a very simple game mechanic, they like to have a generous demo mode, they like to provide a few different ways of playing, and they like to provide a huge number of levels. But with Fling, there's a feeling that Miniclip are going through the motions, and that as a gamer I've done this all before.
Version Reviewed: 22.214.171.124
Now in part this could be down to the game Bump Out. Reviewed back in November it has the same game mechanics as Fling, where you push one object in the game grid against another to knock it off the side of the grid. There are very few 'new' games out there, and inspiration can come from many areas, but the main game in Fling has the same issues that I had with Bump Out.
Unfortunately, while the later levels look more complicated, Bump Out has an unlimited undo function. You just hit the on-screen back button to recall your moves until the point where you want to try something a little bit different. Yes it's helpful, but perhaps it helps just a little bit too much. It's far too easy to step back to the single error you think you have made and solve levels by a trial and error method. This makes Bump Out far too easy in my book.
Fling has the same infinite undo button as Bump Out, and even though it has hundreds of levels, the difficulty curve is pretty shallow and it takes far too long to get to the part of the game which is challenging.
There is a small saving grace, and that's Miniclip's modus operandi of adding in different styles of play. As well as the free play game mode (which is similar to Bump Out), you also have:
- Arcade Mode
Where you are asked to solve a certain number of levels before the timer runs out to advance.
- Challenge Mode
Fixed puzzles that need to be cleared to advance.
Objects will continue to be added to the screen and you must keep it clear as best you can, with the twist that only objects of the same colour can knock each other out of the game grid.
...and these are all playable at three different difficulty levels.
The problem is that the game mechanic here is far too simple. Fling has an even smaller game grid than Bump Out, which means there is a touch less complexity to the puzzles. For me, even with a level of ten or so scattered objects, it's just far too easy to see the solution - they literally jump out at me in a single glance.
Now, your mileage might vary in that respect, and if you do need time to puzzle it all out then you might get a lot more out of the game than I do. There's little challenge or reward for me in this title.
I do appreciate that Miniclip have added as much as they can to the basic style of the game with three skill levels and four different game modes. I love the crisp sounds as they roll around the game grid. And I love that they've realised that this might not be as involved as other titles, and have priced it at the lower 99 cent/79p band in the Windows Marketplace.
I just can't help getting bored very quickly of this game. It's not for me.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at