Monday, October 3, 2011

Fling A Thing - 0.99 (Big Blue Bubble)

Ever since Angry Birds became one of the most popular casual arcade/puzzle games in the AppStore, many, many companies have been trying to duplicate that type of all ages, accessible to everyone while still being challenging type of gameplay. Big Blue Bubble, however, has pretty much got it down to a science. With their previous releases of Burn The Rope, BTR; World, and Paper Munchers, they have definitely figured out exactly what it takes to make an addictive casual arcade game with just enough puzzle elements to keep it challenging and fun for 5 minute gamer as well as the more serious gamer. Their latest release, Fling A Thing, is yet another display of those finely tuned gameplay mechanics that keep gamers of all sorts coming back for more.

You’ll be able to control one of 5 different “Things”, 4 of which need to be unlocked, by pulling back and flinging them upwards, collecting as many bubbles as you can. There are also 3 different environments for you to play in, and 2 of these need to be unlocked. So you’ll start out the game with 1 thing and 1 environment to play in. However, the unlockable characters do not have any special abilities, the different environments only really change the look of the game. As you play, you’ll earn stars which you can use to unlock the characters and levels, as well as upgrade some items in the shop.
You are given a certain amount of flings when you start off the game, and need to collect as many bubbles, which are shot out in waves, as you can. Each wave has more bubbles, and every 5 waves, you will be able to move up to the next section of glass. During these breaks every 5 waves, you are able to collect more flings which you can use in the next 5 waves. Also, in these breaks, the flings you use in order to get up to the next section of glass are not deducted from your fling count. There are also random fling pick-ups which if you’re skilled enough, you can grab during waves, increasing your total fling count. Once you reach 0 flings, it’s game over. So you’ll need to try and get as high as you can using the least amount of flings to collect the waves of bubbles.
At the beginning of each different section, you will face a special pattern of bubbles, which if not handled properly, can drain quite a few flings from your fling count. These different patterns change in each of the different environments, as do the bosses that will pop up in the later waves. If you hit these bosses, they will spit out more bubbles depending on how long you’re touching them.
Fling A Thing is a game that can be played quickly, snagging bubbles quickly, while using a couple flings for a couple bubbles, or you can wait, and be patient, as usually, the bubbles will eventually line up, making them easy to grab with one fling of your character. This is where the puzzle elements come in, because even though the game can be played by a pre-schooler, it can also become pretty difficult to get as high as you can even for the well rounded gamer. Moving up the GameCenter or OpenFeint leader boards will require lots of patience, and well timed flings. Also, the higher you make it in the game, the more often stars will appear on the screen, meaning you’ll be able to unlock everything in the game sooner. There is also a little mini-game where you can feed your Thing, but it only gets you 3 stars at a time, so there’s not really a lot of incentive to play it. If you don’t want to wait to unlock items, you can purchase more stars via IAP.
Some players have complained about the lack of directional flinging aloud when you end up landing in a corner. However, you can bounce yourself off of the sides of the screen, so if you treat the levels like a pool table, you’ll be able to bounce your character off of the walls, collecting more bubbles with a nicely positioned and timed fling. The graphics, animations, sounds, controls, gameplay, Big Blue Bubble has done an amazing job creating a game that’s accessible, fun, and as challenging as you want to make it, for every type of gamer. It would be nice to see more game modes added, or different abilities given to the different characters, but the price being only $0.99, it’s a great buy, especially considering how much content there is, as well as the endless replayabilty and online support. If you’re looking for a game that you can play in a little 5 minute session, or come back to and be rewarded for taking your time, Fling A Thing is highly recommended.

Fling A Thing gets a score of 9 out of 10.


Version Reviewed; V1.0
Reviewed Using; 4th GEN iPod Touch, iOS 4.3.3


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