With the gaming medium as large as it is, a title requires either brand recognition or a fairly unique premise to stand out in the crowd. Even among indie titles, this has become an issue. Rather than retro graphics being the exception, they are slowly becoming the norm, especially when it comes to indie platformers. Luckily, Offspring Fling is at least attention-grabbing when it comes to its plot: you throw babies.
Rather than being a highly distasteful flash game, this concept is introduced via lighthearted 16-bit SNES aesthetics. Taking up the role of a cute forest creature who has misplaced her children, the player’s job is to find them and bring them back to safety. In this case, the end justifies the means, as the only way to bring the offspring to a sanctuary is to throw them great distances across various levels.
What Offspring Fling is gameplay-wise depends on the player. Casual players will deal with a puzzle platformer, while completionists will have to face the extra element of time trial. As is the case with games of old, there is a regular ending and a true ending; the latter being available only to those who can beat the levels faster than the developers themselves.
However, when it comes to all three of these aspects, the game attempts to deliver on all fronts. The puzzles require that one considers their actions carefully, while the platforming will make the player call upon a good chunk of their old-school gaming skills. The timed element of the game makes use of the internet, so you can not only upload your replays, but watch those of others and see what you are doing wrong. The game even has a Time Trial Ghost, but it seems to be more trouble than anything, as one can easily confuse the Ghost with the player character, resulting in missed jumps or worse.
Offspring Fling sports over one hundred levels, although they are all fairly short. Most players will need less than two hours to complete them all, which is why the game relies on its replay value. Actually replaying the game for the best possible times will likely up the time required to beat the game to five or six hours.
The game is a nice little distraction, but it doesn’t seem to capture the 16-bit atmosphere it attempts to emulate. The graphics may be on par with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (and in some cases, even better), but gameplay and level design-wise, it feels more at home on a Game Boy. Which actually makes one wonder why it wasn’t released for the iPhone, as it does seem perfect for short bursts.
As it stands, Offspring Fling is enjoyable, but not really a must-buy. There are plenty of other games available which emulate or build upon oldschool gaming more successfully. The baby-throwing simulator doesn’t exactly fail on either accounts, but it doesn’t stand out either.
Cute aesthetics | Level editor | Good distraction | Fairly original concept
Doesn't really capture the SNES atmosphere it emphasizes I Offers little outside of baby-throwing to make it stand out
Miodrag hails from the land of Serbia. He is currently a college student trying to learn Japanese and speaks English, German and Serbian (as well as all the jabber similar enough to Serbian). He is primarily a PC gamer, but knows his way around various consoles, old and new.
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