Sling Ming (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Ofisil 07.04.2018

Review for Sling Ming on Nintendo Switch

Developed by independent studio, Good Night Brave Warrior, Sling Ming approaches the sub-genre of physics-based puzzles from a pretty interesting angle. Whereas in most of its kind the player tries to manipulate the main character, in here, you will actually have to carry the protagonist like an anchor, with the eponymous heroine actually being at the mercy of the string that's attached to her, as well as good 'ol gravity. An intriguing concept, indeed, but, as is the case in these types of games, this probably leans a bit more to the aggravating side than it has to. Follow Cubed3 as it turns on the Nintendo Switch, trying to help this cute Chinese princess like a knight in shining armour would: by dragging her by a rope.

There's a story here, and, for a mobile-friendly, indie puzzler (where there's no need for one), it's pretty decent, although it is possible to simply skip through it all and not really feel as something is missing - plus, it doesn't overdo the whole cut-scene element, which is always a good thing. Even better? The colourful, cartoony visuals are a delight to the eye, with a vibrant colour palette painting a world where everything pleasantly pops out, especially Ming, the cute and sexy, pear-shaped protagonist.

As for those who want to know, here it is: Ming goes deep under the crust of a bunch of planets, in order to find out why her homeworld is having a seizure. Who will help her in doing so? Why Oxylane, who else? "Oxy-what-now?" some of you may ask, and the answer is the suit that she will use to descend into the many trap-filled labyrinths available. In here, however, the player doesn't really control the princess, but a sphere that's connected with her high-tech attire via a rope.

Screenshot for Sling Ming on Nintendo Switch

Thus, when this moves from node to node, she helplessly swings around the place. The good news is that doing all this is not rocket science. All it takes is a click or a tap on a node, and, whoosh, she flies towards the next anchor point. The catch, however, is that this is an insanely hard control scheme to master, as there is a need to always be mindful of Ming's free movement, which is no easy task as many of the levels don't just wait for you to idly complete them.

In other words, things can hurt you here, and while there are many stages where it's just Ming and a puzzle, don't expect those to be a piece of cake, either. Oh, this can be finished, alright. Sling Ming is not excruciatingly difficult - far from it. The extra tests of skill are fierce, though, and, to be perfectly honest, from collecting items and completing achievements, to doing all challenges a level throws at you, this is the main source of fun in this game.

Screenshot for Sling Ming on Nintendo Switch

Unfortunately, it's also that part where this can also be very annoying, especially when dealing with some of the longer stages. As mentioned before, the controls work just fine, but it's hard to get the hang of things (no pun intended). However, even when somebody reaches that point where swinging Ming around feels natural, the level design will still manage to irritate, partly because most levels consist of multiple steps.

Yes, it's all about carefully timing your moves, learning how things work, and getting a "feel" of the gravity, but when it's so damn easy to go back to the very beginning just by messing up once, the fun factor sort of… decreases. Of course, that has a lot to do with how many stages tend to be longer than needed, whereas this is at its best when it's sort and sweet. In other words, Sling Ming is not casual-friendly.

Screenshot for Sling Ming on Nintendo Switch

Wait, wait, though. Shouldn't it be casual-friendly? Well, a good puzzler pleases a specific demographic, in this case those with equally high-skilled fingers and brains - a great one, however, targets everyone, by offering a better difficulty curve. Yes, this sort of does so, but only when not caring about the extra stuff, but it's a shame that there's a big gap between the "standard" experience, and the extra stuff. Having said that, is this a bad game?

Thankfully, despite all the grumbling so far, it's not. The handcrafted, and quite varied, levels will test your abilities like few action-puzzlers have, and the controls, while hard to get used to, work as intended. Moreover, the audio-visuals are very good, making this experience even more enjoyable, whether holding the Switch, or docking it. Note, however, that not everyone will be able to have fun with it, as some will, undoubtedly, find its mechanics to be more annoying than exciting.

Screenshot for Sling Ming on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The levels are enjoyably tough, as well as quite pretty in all their cartoony simplicity, but, when it comes to enjoying Sling Ming, it all boils down to this: who will find controlling a heroine by handling the rope she is tied to, with gravity doing the rest of the work, any fun? Simply put, the answer is "not everyone."

Developer

Good Night Brave Warrior

Publisher

Good Night Brave Warrior

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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