Slingstar is a fairly original game genre in which you play in the style of a shooter, but in this game you do not actually shoot anything. Instead you have two wingmen who use the momentum created by moving your spacecraft to crash into enemies. So is it a hit or a miss? Keep reading to find out.
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Slingstar has sixty levels of increasing difficulty which can be played in single player or co-op with up to four players locally. Each level has a wave of enemies that spawn and it your task is to destroy them in order to progress to the next level. You do this by moving your spacecraft to create a momentum for your wingmen, the faster and further you move your craft the larger the distance and speed your wingmen will travel. This is an interesting idea and is fairly unique which leads to some original tactics that have not really been seen in a game before. Only your wingmen can destroy enemies, colliding with an enemy in your lead craft will result in death.
The control system is as you would expect a little strange at first and it does take a bit of getting used to. You will likely start by performing a spinning motion to create a kind of circle barrier and hit enemies with this method. As you get used to the game you will start to understand the physics and play in a more strategic fashion, for example by moving towards your enemy and quickly pulling back to smash your wingmen into the enemy. Although the spinning motion method is still a good way to kill some enemies 🙂
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There are a good variety of enemies which are gradually introduced as you progress through the game, each have their own distinctive design and AI. I have bumped into several different types and they range from simple move around the screen doing nothing, to enemies that shoot at you, enemies leaving trails of objects that kill you on contact and enemies that transform into rocks for a short period of time that can not be destroyed until they change back. The mix of enemy types is good and some harder to kill than others. Every several levels you are faced against a boss that takes the form of a massive octopus which when hit will chase you around the screen.
To help with your task of destroying the enemies, random power ups will spawn at regular intervals. These range from an additional wingman, a shield for you ship and heat seeking rockets which target the enemy. Some power ups are kept until you die and some are for a period of time. The power ups are a good addition and are always appreciated as it can make a difference between an easily cleared level or not.
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Death will be an often occurrence, but thankfully the game has no lives and you are free to die as many times as you want with no penalty. Once you complete a level it is unlocked and can be continued where you left off at a later time. The difficulty level gets fairly hard by level 20 if you are playing single player and the game becomes almost puzzle like and not arcade as you have the infinite retries and unlockable levels.
Graphically the game looks great and are very well drawn, both the player and enemy are easily identifiable and leave a kind of plasma trail behind them as they move around the screen. The backgrounds are not too intrusive and occasionally a gentle plasma style flare can be seen. One thing I saw that was a nice touch was between each level the level number text displays and can be destroyed with your wingmen in order to proceed. It was not until I watched a video of the game I saw how nice the graphics were, as while playing you do not get to fully appreciate them.
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I will be honest and say that when I first play Slingshot for my trial impressions I was not too sure about the game, it just did not click with me at first. Now I have spent a few hours playing I can say that this is a good game that has an original gameplay style. The sixty levels will take quite a few hours to complete at least, and with the multiplayer option there is enough scope for some good replayability. Considering the game costs 80 :MSPoints: you get a very good amount for your money, and while everyone may not immediately understand the game, once you do you will love it! Slingstar gets a thumbs up from me.
Slingstar costs 80 :MSPoints: and you can find more information including the trial and full versions of the game here.0