Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is the first episode of the fifth series.

Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly are bound to have some fun in the alpha (!!!) build of Fling to the Finish, an upcoming, madcap co-op racer from SplitSide Games. You might detect a slight echo of Heave Ho, but it’s definitely it’s own thing.

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10 thoughts on “Side by Side: Fling to the Finish

  1. This looks fun. You’re making me want to play more co-op games.. does anyone have experience with using something like Parsec to play local co-op games over the internet?

  2. Off the cuff, a co-op game where individual players are not “winners” or “losers”.

    This gets slightly grey in team games because they are often conducted co-op games against computer players. Fling, I believe, can be played as a competitive team game.

  3. CA!

    Parsec is amazing. It has its limits though. Playing with someone across the Atlantic isn’t ideal for anything fast-paced or with detailed visuals but for adventure games or, I dunno, turn-based strategy and puzzlers can work quite nicely. I have 60Mbps fibre optic btw.

    When I’ve played with other people in the UK or with a friend in Norway, it was miraculously snappy and crisp so arcade fare and more reflex-based games are a delight. I’m usually the host but when I played things like Videoball, Degrees of Separation and Human Fall Flat I frequently forgot I was playing remotely on someone else’s computer miles and miles away. I think it’s about as close to recreating that feeling of being round at a friend’s house playing on their computer/console as you’re likely to get without actually being at their house. I love that so much.

    Making all local multiplayer games and modes online is just a wonderful thing though, for players who perhaps don’t have nearby friends on tap or the money to justify buying numerous copies to play online occasionally, or for developers who can’t implement online functionality. I’ve even used it to fix things on a friend’s computer remotely. Perhaps you’ve got a friend who’d like to watch you play something and you need your streaming to have less of a delay than Twitch. For example, I want to show a friend how to play Chaos Reborn so I could connect to his computer and walk him through everything, taking control and using the mouse to point things out as I explain.

    If you use the Steam Controller that can behave a bit strangely with Parsec so you have to do some setting up for that. And while Parsec works well with Discord, it occasionally doesn’t cancel out the host’s voice comms so you get an echo. Thankfully there are relatively simple and concrete ways around these things thanks to Parsec’s helpful troubleshooting guides.

    In a nutshell I’d say if you’ve got a friend in mind to play with who’s relatively close geographically (or not!) then try it out, you might be surprised.

    For me a co-op game is simply a game where you and your teammate(s) depend on each other to succeed to progress eg. Overcooked, Guns of Icarus Online, Portal 2, L4D, Affordable Space Adventures, SnipperClips. If your teammate(s) refuse to play then it’s pretty much game over. Joel knows that some ‘co-op’ games I (somewhat snarkily) call ‘co-hab’ where basically you can succeed entirely on your own but you co-habit the space with another player. You can and perhaps do co-operate but you’re not particularly dependent on each other.

    Phew, that was longer than expected 🙂

  4. Thanks very much for a comprehensive answer Gregg! I’ll definitely be giving it a spin – extending the reach of what must be hundreds if not thousands of local-only mulitplayer games sounds like a huge boon for the medium.

    But where to start? I’ve a friend down in London who needs help beating Cuphead (disclosure: this is a lie. I’m the one who needs the help.)

  5. Ah Cuphead! Co-op scales the HP of enemies and bosses so don’t expect it to be any easier!

    If anything, it’s probably harder because if you or your friend dies (while you can revive each other, the window is brief) tackling the rest of a level solo can be rough. My girlfriend bailed about 66% of the way in which she was happy about because it meant she could appreciate the visuals instead of just trying not to die! 😀 We died thousands of times but finished it in the end, after a fairly long hiatus.

    Some quick tips: track down the coins to unlock the various weapons and abilities. Some make certain levels and bosses so much easier. Experiment with various loadouts and get familiar with their effects. Parrying is the best way to get your specials up fast!

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