Slide the Shakes subjects us all to a terrible lie. Around level 20, you unlock a milkshake called a “lime freeze.” This slip of a drink mates lemon-lime pop, crushed ice, and a dollop of lime sorbet, then serves it up in a martini glass. There is nothing milky or shaky about it. This is high treason. High milkshake treason. It’s a very serious crime.
Other than fibbing about what constitutes a “milkshake” before the Milkshake Court of Law (which contains myself and nobody else), Slide the Shakes is one addictive twitch / physics game. It’s an easily-digestible time-waster that brings the iOS back to its roots as a game machine ideal for picking off a minute at a time while you ride a bus or wait in a line.
Slide the Shakes puts you behind a diner counter right away (no Health and Safety training here, wussies). Some simple on-screen directions instruct you on what to do: Simply pull back on the shake by “pulling back” anywhere on the screen with your finger. Then release to send the beverage flying.
Each level of Slide the Shakes features a counter marked with green safe zones. If your shake stops in a green zone, you’re allowed to move on to the next portion of the level. A level might have three portions, or it might have five or more. When they’re all cleared, you move on to the next level.
Successfully stopping in a green zone is easy as pie at first (mmm, pie and milkshakes). The challenge ramps up quickly, though. Before long, counters become uneven and ice-slicked from what I assume to be an air conditioner-related mishap. There are also occasionally patches of pink goo that gulp down your milkshake’s momentum like Homer Simpson let loose on a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Succeeding in Slide the Shakes essentially comes down to developing an instinct for the game’s physics. Pull back too hard on normal or icy terrain, and your glass will meet the floor in no time. Fail to pull back hard enough, however, and your glass won’t travel far enough, especially if there’s pink goo in the way.
To make things a touch more challenging, you can try a level portion again if you fail to land in its green zone — but if your glass breaks, you’re booted back to the very start of a level. This brutal rule teaches you a hard lesson about not over-doing things, even though it’s fun to hear the productive “tink!” of glass shattering on tile.
Slide the Shakes is very much a game that works best for a few minutes at a time. It’s simple and repetitive, though it’s also easy to return to again and again. Prettygreat understands the game is built around failing, and made the very wise move of making the delay between failure and a restart as quick as possible. When your milkshake inevitably goes flying off into the wild yonder for the 60th time, Slide the Shakes immediately says, “What a shame. Have another,” and it sets you back up in less than a second.
It’s interesting how such a tiny gameplay tweak can make or break such a simple game, but here we are. Slide the Shakes’ perfect timing makes it a great title to go back to repeatedly, even if you’re only playing in short spurts.
Save the milkshakes! Spill the sorbet!