By Eric Pankoke on Tue, 10/25/2011
Are you ready for the ultimate bubble popping experience? Forget all those games that simulate bubble wrap and prepare to fling your thing. This new game from Big Blue Bubble is odd, quirky and probably one of the most entertaining bubble related games I’ve played on my iPod Touch. The things are goofy, the power ups are cool, and the whole atmosphere just exudes addictive causal game. Unlockables take a bit of time to acquire, but that’s really my only gripe so far.
The basic premise behind Fling A Thing is that you are trying to climb as high as you can in whatever environment you are playing. A “thing” basically looks like some toy you might pick up for your kid in a dollar store with a suction cup attached to its nose. You pull the tail and let go to send the thing flying into the air with the intent of collecting all the bubbles floating around. Once you’ve gotten all the bubbles you move on to the next level, and once every five levels you climb up some rungs to the next part of the world you’re playing.
You start out with 10 moves and each “fling” counts as a move. To fling a thing you simply grab its tail, pull in the direction you to fling, and let go. This works good for the most part, though sometimes it’s hard to pull the tail back far enough depending on how close to the side of the screen the thing is. Sometimes a number 1 will come flying by and if you hit that you get an extra fling. You also earn one or two flings at the beginning of each level, and later on in the game you can get bells that will give you the number of flings that is on the bell (these are much harder to acquire, though). Once you run out of flings the game is over and you must start your climb again.
In addition to flings you can collect stars which can be used to unlock additional things, more levels and bonuses to some power ups. Power ups include a magnet, an egg and bubble gum. The egg releases little things to help you clear away bubbles while the magnet attracts the bubbles to you, both in an effort to help you clear the board faster. The bubble gum gives you a bit of an extra bounce to give your fling more impact, and arrows spring you further in the direction they’re pointing, and are necessary to get both fruit and the bells that contain multiple extra lives. Besides simply running out of flings, the only real bad guy is the monster that often appears on the fifth level of a grouping and releases extra bubbles if you accidentally run into it.
Collecting fruit allows you to feed the things, which can be accessed from the main menu. This is almost like a mini-game where you place a bunch of fruit around the screen and the thing will jump up to eat it. Every so often a bonus star will appear for the thing to collect as well, though it appears that you can only get 3 or 4 stars per feeding, and then you have to use the thing for a while before you can feed it again. Other than earning a couple of extra stars, I’m not really sure what benefit you get from the feeding mode.
The graphics are fun. The things are cool looking, and their eyes get a bit buggy when you pull on their tail. The background is neat as well, though so far I’ve only seen one “world” because I haven’t earned enough stars to unlock the others (well, technically I have, but I spent the stars on other things). The sound effects sound like they came off the audio tracks to a cartoon, complete with suction cup noises and popping bubbles and everything else in between. This is further enhanced with the soundtrack, which sounds like carnival music. It all works together nicely to provide a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
Fling A Thing is good, simple fun. There’s not a lot of meat to the game play, but sometimes you need that type of game when you’re looking for something to play in between the “in-depth” stuff. There are times that I wish it were a little easier to gather stars, because I still haven’t earned enough to unlock an new world yet (granted, I have been spending my stars elsewhere), but otherwise everything seems pretty well balanced. Adults will find the game enjoyable, but it should also make a nice diversion for kids. If you love popping bubbles but are bored with the standard “tap to pop” interface most bubble popper games use, Fling A Thing could easily become your next guilty pleasure.
Overall Score: 8/10
App Store Link