Slingshot Racing Hands-On Preview

Slingshot Racing is a racing game for people who don’t care about racing games. Not that racing fans won’t like it. In fact they probably will, but not because of realistic handling of tricked-out car specs. It’s just not that kind of game. Slingshot Racing is more about your reflexes and your ability to plan ahead than it is about your driving skills.

Unlike in most racing games, you don’t actually drive your car in Slingshot Racing– the car moves itself. Your role is to make the car turn as it speeds along short, winding tracks. To turn, you tap the screen when the car comes to a curve in the road. Tapping the screen sends a grappling hook from your car to a pole on the corner. Then physics take over and your car whips (or “slingshots”) around the turn. The rope disconnects when your remove your finger from the screen.

It may sound strange, but it’s a fun and satisfying gameplay mechanic. It turns what would otherwise be a standard racing game into something totally different. It’s a game about timing your screen taps with precision. You tap and hold on the screen as the car rounds the turn, then let go when the car is angled just right so it won’t hit a wall on its way to the next turn. Hitting walls, of course, loses you precious seconds.

Racing against other cars isn’t all you do in Slingshot Racing. Some levels test your finger timing further by having you collect a bunch of coins scattered around the track. Other levels place obstacles in your path and have you battle against the clock rather than against other cars. One of the most intense level types sends a giant car-crushing machine after you and your opponents. The last car remaining wins.

Your performance on each level is rewarded with up to three bolts. Racking up bolts is what unlocks later stages, but you don’t have to earn all the bolts on each stage to unlock the next one. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself with enough bolts that if you’re having trouble on one level, you can skip it entirely and come back later.

We’re really enjoying our time with Slingshot Racing so far, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the final build. The game will be available in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye on Slide To Play for news.