Fling to the Finish is a wacky physics-based 3D platformer. It tasks two characters, either controlled with one or two players, with rolling across various themed obstacle courses. Characters can move freely in 3D space, jump, and cling to walls. The clinging part is important, because you can pin the position of one character down to rubber band launch the other ahead with alows you to leapfrog and climb basically anything. There are two primary modes, an online multiplayer race mode and the campaign. The multiplayer race mode is where people race against each other while avoiding obstacles and pitfalls to see who can get to the end first. The campaign, is again playable via single player controlling both characters, or co-op with each character being controlled by a different player. The game is still in early access, with balance changes to map designs and new content being added. Because it’s in early access I was unfortunately unable to queue up the multiplayer and find any other players. But just practicing in the campaign levels gives a great idea of what the ceiling is in terms of the creativity and fun to be had.
Early access means there are some bugs – usually visual bugs, but there were a few times where my partner and I got really stuck to the terrain and had to struggle out for quite some time. Fortunately, you are able to reset the level at any time, but that will remove your progress in the level.
Levels are quite varied with three separate challenges, a three collectible scavenger hunt which is my favorite, a time trial race, and a grab the coins as quick as possible mode. I find the order of these events help naturally enable you to master the geography of each level’s design, and experience different ways of traversing them in new ways. The time trial race is definitely some great speedrunner bait, and provides ample opportunity to really maximize your performance. The coin mode I wasn’t stoked on at first, but it warmed up to me because it requires you to take some risky routes to make sure you don’t miss a single collectible coin.
My partner and I had a lot a fun exploring the landscapes for the secret paths, which usually involved climbing areas that are in very odd, precarious positions. It was always a treat whenever one of us spotted one and knew exactly what we needed to do. There are times where you might not be able to predict how the physics engine might send you, but we found the controls surprisingly tight after you figure out how to manage your speed. There are quite a few invisible walls around areas that seem to be traversable, or just straight up let you phase right through them to your death. It isn’t too much trouble though; it only came to play when one of us was suspicious of an area that may be hiding a secret. For the most part, it is very apparent where you should be heading next. It takes a little getting used to, but it feels really good to get some momentum going and nimbly navigate through the twisting roads and numerous obstacles. It also felt good when I was in a call and we were coordinating our actions and jumps in a way that really made it difficult for one person to just play hero and outshine anything the other player did.
All in all, I really had a blast with this one. It takes a little finesse to get used to the controls at first, but they’re pretty tight and manageable. I think single player is much more of a task to take on, as you can play alone controlling two characters simultaneously, but I personally found it very unwieldy. I’d love to see the potential of multiplayer, as I could see it becoming very hectic on some particularly tight spots of some levels. A lot of potential on this one and laughs all around.
A review copy was provided by the devs
Hellfirebam has gladly awarded Fling to the Finish the Indie Gamer Seal of Approval.