Fling to the Finish is a co-operative racing game developed by SplitSide Games and published by Daedalic Entertainment. As two goofy looking balls tethered together by a piece of elastic, you’ll be launched down a variety of absurd courses, getting tangled up in absolutely everything along the way.
Fling to the Finish is built for couch co-op – you can even share a controller – and that’s a genre that has enjoyed a bit of a revival over the last couple of years. Overcooked made it cool again, and we’ve seen a deluge of games trying to capture a bit of that magic for themselves ever since. Thankfully, Fling to the Finish isn’t just another Overcooked copycat – it’s doing something a little differently. Think Mario Kart if Mario and Luigi were tied together and thrown down a hill.
Courses start simply, and this helps you get acquainted with the physics behind your balls. Each player rolls individually, but they’ll be pulled off course if the other player gains too much momentum and moves the other way. There are times where you’ll have to pause and use your rope to do things like get a golf ball into the hole or pull levers to continue, and these little pauses in the absolute chaos make it all the more exciting. It’s basically a timed obstacle course with a friend, and it rocks.
Besides rolling and jumping, each player can hold down a trigger to stick to a surface, which when used in combination with flinging your partner, forms the basis for solving a lot of the game’s trickier obstacles. It’s a mix of some very simple concepts that coalesce into something surprisingly hard to master. Unlocking more goofy-looking animal balls and courses to throw them along is tied to your performance in Fling to the Finish‘s various modes. The difficulty is balanced pretty well – it’s hard to get top marks without experience and communication, but the time limits for second and third is generous.
You’ll rarely outright fail a course, and that gives you freedom to let go and just enjoy some of the silliness. You don’t have to sweat getting everything perfect, you just have to have a good time. I actually kept forgetting that I was playing an Early Access game – what’s already present is so entertaining, I was just keen to see more of it. They hope to have the game smoothed out a little and double the amount of presently available content over the next 6 to 8 months, and to be fair that seems like a pretty reasonable goal.
What is the current state of the Early Access version?
“The early access version of the game already delivers a hilarious and engaging experience to any player who picks it up. Fling to the Finish has singleplayer, co-op, splitscreen, up to 4 players locally – 8 players online, random matchmaking with 12 unique levels to race through and 3 gamemodes for each of those levels specifically for singleplayer and co-op players.”
You can also take the races online, teaming up against other Fling to the Finish players to double the amount of silliness on display. Adding more pairs of players really just gives you more things to get tangled up in, breathing a vast suffusion of chaos into an already hectic, energetic experience.
Fling to the Finish Early Access: Is it worth it?
If Fling to the Finish looks good to you now, it’s only going to get better over the Early Access period. There’s plenty of courses and modes on offer for the current asking price of £12.99. Even if it stays at exactly the same quality it is right now, you’ll still have tons of fun with it. You can play solo, but I’m not sure that’s really what the developers have in mind – this is pure co-operative chaos, through and through. So unless you’ve got a buddy/offspring/hostage to couch co-op with, Fling to the Finish might not amuse.