FlingSmash

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
FlingSmash Game Poster Image
Bouncing hero pounces on enemies, creating fun experience.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The story has a very black-and-white good-vs-evil plot. The heroes are undoubtedly in the right. The tale also shows that heroes can come in all shapes and sizes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zip is a strange little ball of a hero, but he is depicted as very brave and loyal. He goes against stereotypes, proving that anybody -- however they look -- can be a hero.

Ease of Play

The levels become increasingly difficult as the game progresses, but the general gameplay mechanic is incredibly simply. You simply swing the Wii remote in the direction you want to fling Zip. The controls feel very responsive and very precise.

Violence & Scariness

The spherical hero, Zip, smashes through bricks and other obstacles. He can also smash into very non-human-looking enemy creatures to make them disappear. There are longer, more protracted boss battles, one of which involves knocking "bombs" into the boss monster's mouth. All of the action is incredibly cartoony.

Language
Consumerism

The game comes packaged with a Wii MotionPlus remote.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while there is some cartoony violence in FlingSmash, mostly in the form of the round hero bashing into things, the action and the plot are generally safe for kids. And the incredibly easy gameplay mechanic is one that can be picked up by almost anybody. But while getting into the game is a piece of cake, excelling at it will take lots of time and practice.

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What's it about?

The story behind FLINGSMASH involves an evil villain who tries to conquer a magical island. To protect his people, the king of that island releases a legendary hero from a box where he has been trapped for ages. That hero turns out to be Zip, a tiny, yellow, spherical dude that everybody looks at skeptically when he first appears. But Zip proves himself a formidable hero, as he powers up and bounces through the air, smashing anything in his path, whether that means obstacles or enemies. You control Zip by simply swishing the Wii remote in the direction you want to fling him.

Is it any good?

Well, the title couldn't be any more accurate. In FlingSmash, you fling your hero into things and he smashes them. But it's all incredibly fun to do. The simplicity of the controls makes this a pick-up-and-play game for anyone. But as the game progresses and levels get more and more challenging, you'll realize that you need to practice and build up your flinging skills in order to excel. Zip makes for a cute and likable hero, and the colorful cartoony environments are very enjoyable to bounce through. FlingSmash feels a lot like old-school Nintendo games of yore -- and in that way, does have a way of inducing deja vu (which you may or may not think of as a good thing) -- but the way you play feels very fresh and new.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about video game heroes. How is Zip like other heroes? How is he different? What different shapes and forms can a hero take?

  • How does the violence in this game compare to that of others? The action is very cartoony, and the villains don't look remotely realistic. Does that lessen the impact of the fighting in the game?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: November 7, 2010
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence

For kids who love going on adventures

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