If someone were to have told me that I'd be spending the next several hours flinging, flicking, snapping, bouncing, dropping and shooting a green gob of gooey slime around 50 levels of a unique new Flash platform puzzle game, I'd probably have expected to see an exceptional piece of work. Well, Sling is exactly that: an amazing new physics-based platform game and I have been playing and enjoying it for hours.
Sling is also an animated creature with a single hand and a head connected by a long stretchy piece of springy slime. You control it with the mouse by clicking on its head to grab and pull it around, or snap it like a sling shot. Sling can attach only to small round spheres, or "grabs", that are placed around each level. It can also bounce off of walls, ceiling and floor provided they are free from hazard. A realistic physics model is used to give Sling its behavior and its springy, sling shot properties.
The objective (for most levels) is to visit all the grey grabs to turn them green. That will open up a portal that will take you to the next level.
Some levels will require you to flip switches and avoid enemies as well as visiting all the grabs, and every fifth level introduces you to a 'boss' level to complete. To create an added incentive, you play against the clock to beat the "gold time" set for each level. Although gold time performance is not required to advance, if you do achieve gold on all 50 levels a special bonus game is unlocked as a reward.
Analysis: There is much to enjoy from this beautiful piece of work: The opening introduction and animated tutorial, the cut scenes after the boss levels, the graphics, the sound design, as well as the unlockable levels and bonus game, Sling has all the features of a commercial game product. It is a gorgeous Web game with an exceptional physics implementation. That in itself is quite remarkable considering the usual Flash performance bottleneck we're used to seeing with action-oriented games.
In terms of gameplay, Sling plays as smooth and fluid as it looks. The levels start off fairly basic and gradually introduce new concepts and complexities as you make your way through the game. Each new level presents a puzzle with a little something added here or there. Just enough to keep you interested and challenged the whole way through. At first I wasn't as concerned with making gold times as I was with simply making it through each level; but now that I have acquired new skills and tricks from the later levels, back tracking to get those missed gold times is simultaneously enjoyable and gratifying.
Sling was created by two brothers from Australia, Jamie Edis and Simon Edis, who together have created over 200 Web games and animations between them. The game is available to play for free from their ezone website.