Application Review: Slingshot Racing

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Tilt steering… On-screen pedals… Full-on customization… Slingshot holds none of these common racing game properties. Instead, it aims to be a quick, pick-up-and-play game with very simple controls. Many games that follow these principals end up being among the most successful in the App Store. Is Slingshot racing included in this group, or is it an exception to the rule? Read on for the full review:

Gameplay

Line up in the 16 car grid, touts Real Racing… Grind paint with the car next to you, touts NFS… Release the nitro for a big boost touts Asphalt. Slingshot uses none of these. The user has one control, the slingshot. That’s it; everything else is controlled automatically making the controls very basic.

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Four sleds can cause quite the mayhem and ruckus, Slingshot Racing makes that clear as a bell.

Simply touch the screen, and hold, to activate the nearest slingshot to form a centripetal force on your sled. This will allow it to corner. That’s all the control you get, and it makes the game that much easier to play. Although the controls can be a bit off at times, when I want to activate one slingshot, but the other activates simply because it’s slightly closer. This can really ruin your race at times. This can get some getting used to, but once you do, the game plays flawless.

The gameplay itself is very simple, and offers two modes. Career and multiplayer. Career mode is split into many different cups; each cup containing 4 “races”. These races may not be actual races, but a majority of other types of things:

  • Race: Race against 4 other sleds through a number of laps.
  • Time Trial: Race against yourself through a set number of laps trying to hit a qualifying time.
  • Bolt Collection: Collect all the bolts on the track, the quicker you finish.
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Your career consists of a set number of cups, each with four races within them.

These races begin easy, but increase in difficulty really quickly. As you race, depending on performance, you’ll receive one, two, or three bolts for completing your race. If you completely fail, you’ll be awarded with no bolts. These bolts are used to open new cups and races in cups. You can always go back and perfect your three bolts.

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When four sleds want that same gold, things get physical, just don’t get pushed out like I just did.

Multiplayer, on the other hand, is only local. Actually, it’s all run on the same device. Each user gets a single corner of the screen that they can use; four corners, four players. If you don’t have 3 other friends, you can always set any of the others to an AI, or not include them at all! Then you go through and queue the tracks you’ll be racing at as well as miscellaneous things like laps, light conditions, etc. At the end of each race, players are awarded three, two, one, and zero points for finishing first, second, third, and forth respectively. At the end of the queue, the player with the most points wins.

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At the end of each race, points are added up, you can win a few, but can you win the series?

Slingshot may not offer the most of vehicles to use, but it does offer a wide variety of tracks. These tracks vary from the simplest oval, to 8-tracks, to some crazy other things as well. Tracks can be raced forward or backward; daytime or nighttime. Each track has set locations that adds quick boost of speed for your sled.

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There are multiple tracks included with this game, each with its own twists and turns.

Gameplay: ★★★★★

Graphics

The one thing that impressed me the most about this game was how smooth it ran. I didn’t need to restart my device, it didn’t crash on me, it didn’t lag either. It’s just filled with silky-smooth animations that may not make your jaw drop, but are definitely good, if not great. There is ample detailing in the game, albeit it could use more. Sled trails, ice particles, along with other miscellaneous details can all be seen. The finer details, however, are gone since the textures are bland.

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The simple laid-back graphics are very good, could use some better textures though.

Graphics: ★★★★½

Audio

The game has some background music (BGM). I would say it’s repetitive, but once you start racing, that drops straight to the background so you can focus entirely on the race. The BGM is soft spoken so it won’t ruin the gaming experience. Sound effects can go deeper, and like the graphics, are ample. Your sled can be heard, collisions as well. There just aren’t too many sound effects though.

Audio: ★★★★

Replay

The career is actually quite long in this game, but there is always the multiplayer mode to fall onto afterwards. Included in the game are achievements; they are there, just not accessible in app. The main problem I have is that the multiplayer is local only. This can be a letdown if you have no friends (around). You can always race the AI, but that isn’t the most fun either. What I wish they would do is add online racing and leaderboards. That would make the game killer. Regardless, the multiplayer can keep you busy for quite a while, just set up 10 15-lap races, and go crazy.

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Multiplayer is included, but its local only, and only on your device.

Replay: ★★★★½

Value

The game cost three bucks, and even at this price, I still say it’s well worth the price. The gameplay is fun, relaxing, but still competitive while the graphics, although lacking in detail, add on to the more hands-off gaming approach. Slingshot Racing is just unique in its own way. While the multiplayer may not be what everyone wants, it does a decent job, but can be expanded upon.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

Slingshot Racing can be a quick, pick-up-and-play game that will kill any time from 5 minutes to hours. On the App Store, this is a recipe for success. Slingshot Racing is no exception to this rule. The simplistic, laid-back gameplay is unique and thrilling in its own way which is what sets it apart from the rest.

Overall Score

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† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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