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FlingSmash review

Back with another one of those block-rockin' games...

Fling. Smash. Like Ronseal Five Year Woodstain, the clue is right there in the name. In FlingSmash you use the Wii MotionPlus controller to "fling" Zip, a sort of Pacman meets the ball from Breakout, so that he "smashes" blocks. You do the flinging. He does the smashing.

What starts out an homage to the primitive fun of Arkanoid soon becomes an incredibly sweet, points-chasing, puzzle-action side-scroller, with each level requiring you to collect at least three of the five medallions hidden to varying degrees - some in plain sight, others awarded upon victory in impromptu mid-level minigames.

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You'll generally collect these as a matter of course, the real challenge is in stringing together smashes and combo blocks to earn the highest score possible.

Smashing Fun

Powerups allow Zip to increase in size, or to split himself in three, while some worlds present the charming yellow fellow in a different form: either metallic (in which he's more obviously influenced by gravity and can't be flung as hard) or tiny (in which he's essentially weightless).

Subsequent worlds introduce new features too, such as bounce pads and cannons, and new kinds of blocks produce unexpected results, such as stopping time temporarily or turning all other blocks into diamonds.

There's even an end-of-level feature analogous to Mario's flagpole - five walls of blocks which, when broken through in the correct way, award you a bunch of extra points. After each level your score is charted over time spent on the level, with your efforts summed up by a B, A or S rank.

The "fling" mechanic works brilliantly. It's precise enough to allow for some minigolf style minigames, in which the Wii MotionPlus controller is used to control an on-screen staff to smack Zip into numbered blocks in sequence.

Other games involve Zip essentially being used as a tennis ball - score highly enough in a world and you'll unlock these games and more outside of the main game.

FlingSmash comes bundled with the new Wii Remote Plus, essentially a Wii Remote with a built-in Wii MotionPlus, and there's more than enough enjoyment to be had beyond its basic premise to warrant a purchase.

This is an edited version of a review that appears in the December of Official Nintendo Magazine. For more in-depth analysis and screenshots buy the magazine here.

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