Sling Ming is an adorable puzzle-physics adventure platformer game. It’s very entertaining, once its intuitive controls and simple game mechanics give rise to a challenging and memorable gameplay. With a gorgeous art and a mostly soothing soundtrack, this is the kind of game you might wanna play in a marathon gaming session. It will get you always longing for what’s waiting around the corner at the end of every level. These are my first impressions so far, as I have enjoyed many hours of fun playtime since the nice people at Good Night Brave Warrior kindly allowed me to play its Nintendo Switch version, before its release date.
You’ll guide Princess Ming around the galaxy in her mission to figure out and put an end to the nonstop earthquakes that took over her kingdom. With that end in sight, you’re gonna have to travel across the Oxylane: a transit system to which Ming is attached by a sling that will dangerously bounce her around if you don’t get a proper hang of it. In other words, Ming decided to swing around on rails and you need to lead the way by using logic and observing the effects of the laws of physics.
So that’s your job: help Ming travel safely on the Oxylane rails and collect items along the way. But don’t think this is gonna be that easy. You’re gonna have to rearrange the Oxylane at certain points, and if you don’t make things right, items will be missed, obstacles will stand on the way, enemies will catch you, and Princess Ming will be no more…, at least until you have a chance to replay the level. This is when things start to get brutal. I mean, hard… very hard!
Don’t let these beautiful and colorful eye-candy scenarios fool you. Behind that dreamy soundtrack that sets the ambiance throughout which our Dora-the-Explorer-looking Princess Ming has to travel to accomplish her mission, there are diabolically crafted game levels that won’t let you go before you figure them out.
At some points, you’re gonna have to even use stuff you’ll find around to pull down certain edges of the Oxylane rails so that Ming arrives safely at her destination without fatally running into a trap. And the puzzles get harder and harder. For instance, you’ll find yourself trying to set the optimal arrangement of the rails to take Ming from point A to point B in a way that gravity both pulls our hero away from traps and leads her into the right way to catch useful and important items. I’m talking about the need to foresee the effects of your actions many steps ahead before you make a decision.
Sometimes, you might get caught helplessly half-way between point A and B because you forgot to catch a necessary item at the right time or failed to properly adjust your speed to go through a narrow passage on your way down the Oxylane. This is when this game gets so dramatic that killing yourself and restarting the level is the only way to keep going. However, I’m not sure this is a game feature, a bug, or the simple fact that I’m just too dumb to find a better solution. Truth is, this is not a boring game.
The challenges, as I said, are increasingly hard, but still doable. You just need to take a step back, a deep breath and strategize. I’d say you’re most likely to replay that game more than once as there is more than one way to solve its levels. There’s a lot of value in always having to find your way out of a level by using physics, which is also in the core mechanics of games such as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and even Trine. In Sling Ming, you’ll find similar possibilities, likely to bring out your nerdy sciency side. So if you enjoy that genre, this game is right down your alley.
I do recommend Sling Ming. However, if there’s one thing I’m not enjoying in this game so far, I’d say the boss levels didn’t need to be labeled “Boss Fights” to warn the player about what lies ahead. I’d rather play through and figure that out by myself. But this is just an aesthetic feature that doesn’t affect the gameplay at all.
In short, Sling Ming will provide you with hours of good quality gameplay. The graphics are gorgeous, the soundtrack is perfect and the levels are challenging enough to keep you focused and have a good time.