Fling a Thing, developed by Canadian company Big Blue Bubble, is a physics-based game that has previously seen some success on iOS and Android devices. Its Facebook incarnation is one of the first games to be released under 6waves’ new focus on publishing rather than development.
Fling a Thing says almost everything it needs to say about its gameplay with its title. Players have a Thing, which they must Fling — in this case, at floating, moving bubbles which seem to cause the Things some degree of offense. This is achieved by clicking and dragging on the Thing’s tail to pull it back and aim it in a particular direction, then releasing to fling it into the air and hopefully bring down some bubbles. The Thing will bounce off the sides of the screen but is also rather strongly affected by gravity. Each fling consumes a life, and when the player’s lives are depleted, the game is over, though completing a level rewards players with additional lives, as does collecting special “+1″ powerups that occasionally float onto the screen.
Every few levels, the gameplay changes slightly, and the Thing must be flung up a short series of platforms to reach the next set of levels. This is a nice change from the otherwise slightly repetitive task of bubble-popping. Further variety is also added by the gradual introduction of powerups which provide the Thing with special abilities — a magnet attracts nearby bubbles to it while it is still in the air, for example, while an egg releases several baby Things who will pop bubbles over a wide area. All powerups’ effectiveness may be upgraded by spending the game’s currency, Stars, which may be collected through gameplay, through a “feeding” minigame or purchased in bulk using Facebook Credits. These Stars may also be used to unlock additional characters and level packs.
Fling a Thing is a simple, well-presented game that works well on the Facebook platform — although it becomes obvious during play that its control scheme was designed more with a touchscreen than a mouse in mind. Its social features are limited to an in-game leaderboard that allows players to compare scores both against friends and global competitors, but there does not appear to be any viral promotion implemented into the game outside of the usual “invite” button. Players are, however, rewarded with a generous number of Stars for every player they invite who subsequently starts playing — a strong incentive to recruit opponents, since earning stars through gameplay is quite a slow process.
Fling a Thing has been available since last year on mobile devices, but this Facebook incarnation will likely help the various versions find a new audience, particularly as there is a link to the App Store (though, curiously, not Google Play or other Android app stores) on the game’s title page. The added marketing clout of 6waves will also help the game grow far beyond what Big Blue Bubble might have been able to achieve by themselves.
A simple, silly, fun game that will be an interesting test for 6waves’ new focus on publishing.