SlingStar


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slingstar2.gifJohnBSlingStar, not to be confused with the slingshot-style platformer from Teagames, Slingstar, is a space-themed shooter created by Benjamin Nelson. Built using Processing, the same language Dofi used to create the World of Sand games, SlingStar uses realistic physics to make a strange game concept feel as natural as playing with a paddle and rubber ball.

Even though SlingStar would be categorized as a space shooter, it really isn't a shooter at all. It's a slinger. You pilot a small circle that can't touch anything on the screen. Your weapons are the two orbiting satellites that you can sling back and forth to pummel enemy ships. By pulling your craft in one direction and quickly back in the other, you send the satellites hurtling around you in a widening path.

SlingStar is difficult to play at first, but once you get the hang of slinging it becomes second nature. Unfortunately that's about the time the enemies get smarter and start following you around the screen, leaving obstacle trails, or breaking into dozens of pieces. The variety of enemies in SlingStar is definitely one of its strong points and keeps the game challenging and fresh long after the first few levels.

A nice bonus in SlingStar is that you aren't penalized for dying. If you crash into an enemy, just mutter "oops" under your breath then click the screen to start from the same attack wave. With 30 levels to fight your way through, you'll need all the help you can get.

There's no sound or music in SlingStar, which seems awkward at first. After you get into slinging, however, you won't even notice the silence. The visuals are also rather bare-bones, with not even an explosion effect when you destroy an enemy ship.

It could use a little polish in the presentation area, but SlingStar shows creativity with an excellent core gameplay concept.

Play SlingStar

Cheers to Maxro for sending this one in!

30 Comments

Really fun game, but I totally disagree about the music. I think its lack is a major flaw; I think a different sound made by each of the enemies would be extremely cool.

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Dr_Pangloss April 9, 2007 3:47 PM

Strangely addictive...I love the fluid movemnts. And I think sound would be distracting. It's hard enough just concentrating on getting the sling right.

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very neat game and idea, but i think it requires a bit too much luck.

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Fun game, but yeah... I feel deaf. I really like some of the enemies though.

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WOW! It makes my brain bleed!

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One thing I think the game REALLY needs is a visual/aural confirmation when you destroy an enemy. Right now, they just vanish, which isn't very rewarding. A simple flash or puff of smoke would be nice, accompanied by a grumbling destruction noise. That's the stuff we live for!

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beerman58 April 9, 2007 5:55 PM

I can definitely live without the sound... (iTunes makes a better soundtrack for the game anyway), but WOW!! Has anyone made it past level 26. I can't even last long enough for all the enemies to appear!

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Level 28 (with the teleporters and the bombs) was complete luck for me. The bosses were pretty cool, the last boss was probably the easiest.

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For those who get don't want to try 1239812 times on a level:

Pressing "P" moves you forward a level. Pressing "O" moves you back a level.

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Paul O. April 9, 2007 7:07 PM

I do think the lack of feedback when you destroy an enemy is rather disconcerting. The game is apparently open source, though, so maybe if anyone can program in Processing, they can add a little something...

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They link right to the source code, so it's easy enough to find, for example, the cheat codes (which are clearly labeled as such in the source).

Thus, if you simply can't take dying,

press 'i' when you die instead of clicking. You should simply respawn and be able to continue attacking the remaining enemies on the level. That's how it seems to work, anyway. I'm having trouble getting it to work at the moment, but it worked before...

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The physics of the gameplay and the wide variety of bosses are a plus, complete lack of feedback is a big minus. I don't really care too much about music, but sound/visual effects for the enemies would be very welcome.

Has anyone managed to beat the lvl 20 boss? How many times do you have to hit that stupid thing before it goes away? I eventually ended up just skipping the level.

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I don't know if this was intended, but there's an easy way to pass Level 26

Move your guy into the corner (off the screen) and wait for a minute or so until the enemies are in one mass. Then circumvent them and come back to the main part of the screen. Now they are all in a bunch instead of coming at you from all directions

A really really great game, though, lots of fun, clever enemies to defeat and very addicting.

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I guess my computer is waaay less powerful then yourses because this game runs at lightning speed at about 0.5fps.

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Having the same problem as baba, and not on a particularly underpowered computer either. CPU usage from Firefox shoots up to about 95% and it still only provides very jerky gameplay. Needs a new engine.

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Suho

Try

not hitting it for a little while.

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Nice game...

Jay, you don't seem to have posted up the Mercedes Benz Mixed Tape 16 yet (and there isn't a space in the suggestion thingy for non games).

Just thought I'd mention it...

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I found this on the Processing forum. It's surprising how many good games there are on it.

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Benjie Nelson April 10, 2007 5:22 PM

Hey, everyone. Thanks for playing my game!
I really appreciate the feedback. I totally agree that sound is needed, as well as a death animation. My current (and extremely ambitious) plan is to have the characters and your actions create 'music' as you play a-la electroplankton. Although more pressing is the fact that the physics sometimes allows your wingmen to clip through an ememy without injuring them... (need to finish debugging the new collision engine. If anyone has expirience in java sound or even better processing sound and wants to collaborate, let me know. Thanks for all the feed back.

... btw, I have beat the game on a touch-pad so all the levels are possible...
(:
Benjie

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NobodySpecial April 10, 2007 6:07 PM

To those who are saying that it's too heavy on luck: Perhaps you're overlooking the importance of strategy to compensate for slightly imprecise slinging. (Multi)target prioritization and area/swarm management are important. Know when to use tight slings, when to orbit and when to use precision flinging.
Other than the slightly flakey collision detection, there's not that much randomness to deal with.
Elegant, well designed game.

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I very much enjoyed this game as is. Substitute "pandora.com" for "itunes", and beerman pretty much spoke my mind above.
I particularly like how each enemy has it's own interesting gimmick, rather than (as in many games) recycled enemies with merely a little more health, range, etc.
Thanks for the game, Benjie. If i am correct in surmising that this is a project for class credit, i hope you get a high grade!

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at first I thought you were reviewing SingStar, as in the ps2 game :O

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I love the huge variety of enemies! Keeps the game cool level after level.

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am I the only person who cannot load this game??

My browser (safari) freezes up whenever I try and load it

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This game is kind of addictive. I love all the various enemies. That said, it can be hard to tell what you're supposed to avoid besides the enemies themselves without just deliberately running into things. For a few enemies, I realized a few levels after they first appeared that I'd been avoiding things I didn't need to avoid (blue beams, explosions...). It's a little confusing to me, I guess. That's only a small complaint; really, this game is pretty cool.

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it wont work for me either on internet explorer nor firefox. what do i need to do to amke it work?

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Max - Sling Star was made using Processing, and therefore requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on your computer for it to run in your browser.

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Enemies:

Grunt
Attack: melee

Lazer Grunt
Attack: green lazer to red lazer- O>-----------

Homing grunt
Attack: Semi-Homing melee

Upg. Grunt
Attack: Melee; a second before dying, they will shoot a lazer from their front.

Upg. Homing grunt
Attack: Homing melee

Snaker
Attack: Carries grunts behind it; kill the head to release the grunts.

that's as far as i got...

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ganondox May 29, 2009 9:34 PM

Is it suppposed to link to some university?

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joeynow Author Profile Page July 4, 2009 10:08 PM

Has the game been taken down? All I'm getting now is a "you are not authorized to view this content" message. And yeah, it's on the Stanford U site.

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