Sling Drift

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Sling Drift App Poster Image
Annoying racer crashes at start line with bad controls, ads.

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but they're not the most responsive. It doesn't help that the larger scale of the track inflates game difficulty by making it hard to see what's coming until you're right on top of it.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Although technically a free-to-play game, Sling Drift is constantly interrupted by ads, pressuring players to spend $3 to remove them. There's also a "VIP" subscription, which players can opt in to for an automatically renewed $6 PER WEEK, offering little more than a smattering of exclusive cars and daily gem bonuses.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sling Drift is a racing/action game in which players tap to control a small car as it swings around corners to avoid swerving off the road. The game features simple tap-based controls, though the responsiveness and timing required to navigate turns significantly increases its difficulty. Although free to play, Sling Drift is heavily monetized through the use of constant in-game advertisements, paying a one-time fee to remove ads, and promoting a "VIP" subscription, for which subscribers are charged weekly for additional cars and bonus points.

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Kid, 10 years old July 17, 2018

D O W N L O A D T H I S A P P R I G H T N O W , T O R E N E W Y O U R D E V I C E

Scam. When you drive, you lose 10% of your money. Other kids should read this: If your billing info is linked to your parents' credit card, then unlink it... Continue reading

What's it about?

SLING DRIFT is a fast-paced racing challenge that will test your timing and reflexes. You're in the driver's seat, speeding through a winding track in a car with no brakes. While the straightaways are no trouble, it's those pesky hairpin turns that'll wreck your day. Tap an anchor point to send your car into a drift and slide through the curves. But be sure to release the anchor at the right moment, otherwise you'll fly off-road and have to start again. How many turns can you maneuver through in this endless road trip?

Is it any good?

There are some games you pick up and find nearly impossible to put down again, and then there are other games you pick up and wonder why you ever even bothered. Sling Drift falls squarely in the latter category, because there's simply very little to like in this racing-themed reflex game. For starters, although the controls are about as basic as they come, they're not very responsive. The key to victory is timing, knowing when to tap on each turn's anchor point and when to let go to keep the car going straight down the center line. The problem here is that it feels like there's a slight delay between when you tap/release the anchor and when it actually responds. Sure, it's possible to get used to the delay in time, but it's always going to be distracting, like watching a movie with the dialogue just out of sync. Also, due to the layout on the screen, sometimes tapping on an anchor point blocks your view of the car, making the game even harder.

Problems with Sling Drift continue beyond the gameplay issues. While monetizing a free-to-play game is to be expected, Sling Drift isn't subtle about it in the least. Considering the time it takes to get used to the controls and the frequency of the in-game advertisements, you could easily spend as much time forced to watch commercials as you do playing the game. This can be disabled for a fee, which thankfully isn't too expensive, but the same can't be said for the game's "VIP" service. As a VIP, players get a few exclusive cars, which are little more than mild cosmetic additions, and some extra daily gems. For this nominal bonus, players opt in for a weekly, automatically renewed subscription that winds up being a huge cash grab with little return for the player. Save yourself the headache and the cash, and avoid this racer.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing to kids versus "free-to-play" games. What are some of the hidden costs to some free-to-play games like Sling Drift? Are special offers, such as removing ads, or bonus content, worth the money to purchase?

  • What are some key things you think make a game "fun"? What can make a simple game more fun than a more complex experience?

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For kids who love racing

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