Game Reviews

Swing Shot

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Swing Shot
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| Swing Shot

One thing that will never get old is clocking a sniggering panda on the head with a sizeable rock flung by a grinning monkey.

Swing Shot might revel in animal-on-animal violence, but the cartoony physics-based slapstick action means there's no need to give the RSPCA an anonymous tip-off.

It also offers a remarkable amount of fun, with sharp controls and online battles that are fraught with gleefully sadistic monkey business.

Hanging around

Before you take on any real-life foes it's worth plugging an hour-or-so into the rather solid single-player Arcade mode. This helps you to master all the basic skills (essential due to the strange lack of in-game instructions) and, despite some repetition issues, provides a reasonably lively challenge too.

On the left of the screen you assemble a hand-picked menagerie of animal warriors to hang from upgradeable branches (why have weak rope and wood when you can have sturdier chains and self-healing bone?) and take turns hurling projectiles at enemies on the opposite side.

Monkeys chuck rocks, for example, while pandas fling boomerangs, bears fire off stinging bee swarms, racoons can cut ropes with ninja stars, and sloths snip away at structures with nibbling beetles.

Aiming is very much in the Angry Birds, sling-shot mode (hence the name) and you'll be able to deal serious damage in no time thanks to the responsive tap and drag controls.

There's even a bit of strategy involved, as the types of critters you're facing change your firing priorities. To explain, an army of sloths needs to be finished off ultra-quick before their bugs bite off your whole swing set.

A boomerang in the head

There's a pleasing, if rather sadistic, crunch to each impact you make and the camera zooms in to make the most of the action. Meanwhile, the Tom & Jerry style bruises hint at which animal is likely to tumble next time.

Admittedly, the looping structure of the single-player game means you'll soon grow weary of balloon-bursting mini-games and spinning rock-surrounded bosses, but that's where the Swing Shot's online battles come in.

Although you'll eventually have to fork out for some in-app purchases to top up your supply of pandas and bone branches, I managed to enjoy a fair few one-on-one matches without spending a penny.

While still feeling casual, the turn-based combat can become ridiculously tense and the chance to earn in-game currency for winning only extends the life of an already generous and wholeheartedly enjoyable freemium title.

Swing Shot

A zany online battler with a nice line in animal-based slapstick that's bolstered by a decent single-player mode that doesn't cost a dime
Score