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Swinging Ball

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Rating: 4.3/5 (113 votes)
Comments (50) | Views (6,261)

Joshswingingball_screen1Swinging Ball is a new, fun little flash title developed by Gimme5games. Any guesses as to what you might control? That's right, a swinging ball! It's a fairly simple ball-physics game, much as we've seen before in which your goal is to guide the ball through a series of obstacles to the exit. What makes Swinging Ball noteworthy is the implementation of a grapple-like rope that you can use to latch onto surfaces and swing around like Tarzan.

Control the ball by using either the [arrow] keys or [A] and [D] to move left and right, respectively. At the same time, your mouse controls an on-screen cursor to aim the rope. Click to shoot and the grapple will launch out of your ball (only up to a maximum length) and latch onto any green surfaces. As long as you're still holding the mouse button down, you'll stay connected until you release. Most of the wire-frame levels are created with gray surfaces that are safe to roll on, and the occasional red spikes that you'll want to avoid. Exits are yellow; all you've got to do is touch any portion of the yellow lines with your ball to beat the level. (To help you find them, the arrow in your ball always points to the exits like a compass.)

Much of the thrill in Swinging Ball is using the rope to navigate the obstacles. In early levels you'll just have to swing around a bit, Spiderman-style. As levels progress, you'll find bigger, more complex environments—often with moving components—that will require launching yourself up, down and around with your rope. Many of the green surfaces you'll need to use are variously-shaped, rotating "pivots," for lack of a better term. If you latch your rope onto them with enough slack, they will slowly wind you up until the tension reaches critical, whipping you around with enough momentum so you can launch yourself across big distances.

Analysis: Unless you're a fan of wire-frame graphics, it's pretty obvious that the majority of fun to be had in Swinging Ball comes from the gameplay alone. The physics as a whole—not just the ball, but the spatial aspects as well—feel accurate and gratifying. Launching yourself from the aforementioned rotating pivots is great fun, as well as navigating through some pretty well-designed levels. The action could benefit from a minor speed boost; rolling the ball back and forth feels a bit sluggish at times. The game also seems to utilize quite a bit of memory, so you'll want to make sure you play it without many programs or browser windows open if your system is struggling with the FPS. Your progress is auto-saved throughout the four level tiers; easy, medium, hard and insane. There's even a level editor available to create your own levels once you master the rest. Overall, it's a commendable effort in the ball-physics genre with an innovative, addicting gimmick.

Play Swinging Ball


Why is the screen zoomed way in? I can't see anything I'm doing. Anyone else having this problem?

Anonymous June 17, 2008 6:10 PM

I don't think my screen is zoomed in, but it's way, way to the upper left, even with my cursor on the extreme lower right. If I put my cursor anywhere other than the lower right corner, I can't even see the ball.


i had that 'zoomed in' issue as well... i just resized my screen a bit smaller and it took care of it...

and once you do... wow.. what a game... 15436 stars out of 15437


Sorry about the zoom problems. I've adjusted the pop-up to the size of the SWF file. I hope that fixes those issues reported.

Haploid June 17, 2008 6:22 PM

From what I can tell so far, the only way to see your ball is to touch the bottomright of the screen with your mouse. Touching the topright will zoom out and scroll up, so you can see the upper part of the level; touching the left side of the screen will just scroll into the incredible blackness.

Even if I touch the very bottomright of the screen with my cursor, it won't scroll far enough to show much to the right of the ball. You basically only get to see what's to the left. Kind of useless, since most levels have you moving to the right.

In fact, the first tutorial level has a message that says "PRESS -", but I can't see what it says until I press the right arrow button to move the ball. Not very well thought out. ;)

The first tutorial level shows you that bottomright is the corner to have your mouse in. But really, what's the use? If you're gonna use the mouse, why not have it do something useful?

Haploid June 17, 2008 6:28 PM

Update: OK, I figured out that the SWF really must be displayed at very low size to work. I originally tried it with whatever size Jay put it on, then proceeded to maximize the window. At ~1600*1200, the game only shows you blackness no matter how hard you push your cursor to the edges.

So, the see the game work well, make it as tiny as possible or wait for the developers to fix their coordinate system. ;)

[Edit: The correct size is 640x480, just reload the page and use the pop-up again for the correct size. Or read my previous comment. ;) -Jay]

Anonymous June 17, 2008 8:08 PM

The game is completely unplayable. It freezes, skips, jumps, slows down, you name it. And I am running a very powerful machine.

I just dont get it. Anyone else?


Not for me, it runs smooth as silk.

Do you have anything else running in the background? Like uploading or downloading files? Any other Flash running? Is your Flash Player up to date?

Paul O. June 17, 2008 9:42 PM

I'm not having any problems, either. Perhaps everyone should try it again?

It's actually a pretty interesting and enjoyable game, although the complete lack of traction that your little ball thingie has is rather frustrating. I suppose it does add to the challenge, but it makes it feel sometimes like I don't have any control. The wire physics are interesting, though, and it really might have been too easy with a more responsive ball...

Dr. Pepsi June 17, 2008 10:18 PM

Levels are based on too much "luck factor".

Remister June 17, 2008 10:38 PM

This reminds me of a custom game that I use to play on Worms Armaggedon, I believe it was called Rope N Grab or Rope Race.
It is pretty fun.

AXIOM OVERDRIVE June 18, 2008 1:39 AM

Not "luck" but an understanding of physics. It's a very skill-based game with a slightly tougher learning curve, but once you "get it", you really get it.

Problems I found were the ball feels really "floaty". I expected it to fall faster and there to be more friction when contacting surfaces.

Good game though.

Haploid June 18, 2008 5:22 AM

Yeah, you could argue luck-based or skill-based. I'd say the luckier you get the more skill-based it feels. There's some chaos theory going on in this game. Often slightly different actions can have dramatically different effects after you bounce once or twice. Like the timing of letting go off a surface and being thrown across the level. It's really hard sometimes to estimate the exact right moment, and really unforgiving if you're off by a few milliseconds.

So yeah, that feels luck-based, even if it is skill-based.

Don't forget, if you're stuck on a level, YOU CAN SKIP THAT LEVEL. You just have to wait for the score to reach 0, pause the game, and press skip.

Alex Miller June 18, 2008 7:34 AM

I am not easily impressed, but I found this game a lot of fun. The graphics are very clean, which I like. The game play is a bit slow paced, but I also like that as well. I think it's a very well done game.


I like the gameplay, but I'm not a big fan of wireframe graphics. The brown and green circles in the background are especially ugly and serve nothing. Also, the friction between the ball and the floor is acting kinda weird (either that, or the animation of the ball is really out of sync with actual rolling).

Apart from that, I agree the game is pretty reminiscent to goofing around with Ninja Rope in Worms games, while they were still 2D (and actually good).


I really like this game, the gameplay and faux physics are good enough to be vaguely realistic. However the main problem I have is the level design, some of the levels seem to be just pointless ideas that do not really work - like "the machine" and "pinball". Once you start having silly levels like this then it comes a lucky bounce game rather than any skill or fun.


Just realised there is a level editor... maybe I'll stick my money where my big mouth is?


That's a nice game. Shame I proved to be fatally untalented. I really suck at this one - but it's completely my fault.


Ok...wheres my ball? I've tried putting my mouse in the bottom right but I still can't see it!

Fuzzyevil June 18, 2008 12:50 PM

I rather like it. The insane levels are insane though.

peteyfrogboy June 18, 2008 3:54 PM

This is one of the few games like this that I've actually finished. I was flummoxed by the apparent randomness of The Machine as well until I realized that I was missing the easier way through.


Ahhh. This is killing me. I got through the first few difficulties fine. I got to insane and the first level has horrible lag. At times my web thing won't shoot.

Anonymous June 18, 2008 5:47 PM

I really enoyed first few levels, but game very fast became too hard and frustrating for me.


How the heck do I skip levels? I don't see that option.


great idea! but a flawed implementation. I look forward to a better tested version once the bugs are worked out as the tiny size and laggy behavior made it pretty un fun to play right now.

Flash is vector based, so why tie thing to being so teeny tiny as monitors keep getting bigger and bigger?

best of luck to the dev team!


Necroarkher: once the score reaches 0, hit Esc and you should see "Skip" in the bottom corner of the menu.


Having issues:

-It's not a zoom problem

-I can see the whole level fine

-It's not skipping, etc.

-It's that I don't have a little red ball and there's nothing I can do about it.

-The main screen pops up fine

-I select new game

-I choose tutorial, the only available level

-The level pops up

-There is no ball

Any suggestions?


btw, It's not that it's not there, it's that it's invisible. The rest is visible though.

Ainegue June 19, 2008 1:50 PM

Odd... this doesn't even fully load for me. It gets to the end of the loading bar and stuff, but nothing happens. It says at the bottom "Waiting for cdn.mochiads.com"

I'm using Vista and Firefox 3.0. I wonder why it won't load... maybe the Vista parental controls messed it up somehow? Hmm...

Sad. It seems like such a fun game.


well, i finally finished it. quite fun, if you ask me. the next to last level was extremely difficult for me, but i finally finished. quite nice!


i don't have the option to skip when the score is zero and i pause


Very fun game. I want more levels!


can NOT get past the second part of 'mash up' under insane


Great great game. Great level design, concept and excecution. Loved it. Lots more levels please!

zbeeblebrox June 21, 2008 12:12 AM

Aww, too bad you can't try other people's level creations. They made a pretty solid level editor, too. :\

zbeeblebrox June 21, 2008 12:53 AM

Actually, scratch that. User friendly, yes. But buggy as all hell. At least it seems so.

Also, I guess we can share level designs here, since the game doesn't actually 'save' them, it just gives you the string. Here's a stupid one I made, but, like I said, there seems to be some bug issues. Namely, strange invisible walls when you're spinning around the green shapes.


I spoiler tagged it, because I don't know how to make code tags.

zbeeblebrox June 21, 2008 12:56 AM

well that didn't work.
Eh, learn something new every day, as they say..

This may or may not fail miserably:


zbeeblebrox June 21, 2008 12:57 AM

Oh boy. Never mind, I give up. :p


nice level, zbeeblebrox....

overall the game has a nice concept, but annoying gameplay


love the game. and the editor. here's my simple one:



and another



zbeeblebrox - I didn't have a problem loading your level from either of your posts.

How are you trying to do it? Here's how I did it:

  1. Open the spoiler

  2. Position the cursor just to the left of the first letter of the level

  3. Click-drag in a downward motion until the whole line is selected

  4. Copy to the clipboard

  5. In the game, click level editor

  6. Click load

  7. Right-click choose paste*

  8. Click Run.

*You have to right-click to paste in Flash to get what's on the clipboard.


one more simple one

Straight Shot`~levelname`-60`60`360`40`fff`360`40`700`-80`fff`700`-80`960`-240`fff`960`-240`1060`-360`fff`1060`-360`1080`-500`fff`1040`-640`1020`-480`fft`1020`-480`1060`-480`fft`1060`-480`1040`-640`fft`-60`60`-120`40`fff`180`-100`380`-160`ftf`380`-160`680`-280`ftf`680`-280`880`-420`ftf`880`-420`920`-680`ftf`920`-680`1080`-680`ftf`1080`-680`1080`-500`ftf`180`-100`-40`-80`ftf`-40`-80`-120`-80`ftf`~static`-620`-240`-0.1`-660`-240`-620`-80`tff`-620`-300`-660`-240`tff`-620`-80`-580`-240`tff`-580`-240`-620`-300`tff`~rotating`0`0`~startposition`1040`-500`~endposition`1000`~score


I loved the concept, but for some reason it seems to have very poor collision for me, so hitting a long thin rectangle (with two safe sides and two dangerous sides) on a safe side with any amount of force pushes my ball through the safe edge to touch the dangerous edge and immediately resets me. After about 10 resets, I gave up.


When in the level editor, how do you make rotating objects?


maybe my favorite game ever



use the r (rotation tool) and link it to an object.


Just an FYI for those using Firefox. You need to open up the game in IE tab in order for the game to properly load and display.


Great Game. I have passed all the levels. Waiting for Swinging Ball 2 :)


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