Review by SneakTheSnake

Reviewed: 06/16/16

Tricky.

You might know Flicky more as the little birds from Sonic 3D Blast, but that game is kind of an update on Flicky. This arcade game made its way to the Genesis in 1991. Like a lot of arcade games from the 80’s, this is a fun game for a little while, but its difficulty (being the quarter-muncher this game is) will mean new players probably won’t make it very far.

You’ll control a bird named Flicky. You have to gather up all of the Chirps in the level. The Chirps are smaller birds that are scattered throughout each stage and are helpless without you to guide them. Once your bird touches a Chirp, the Chirp will follow your character around until it’s escorted to the exit door. Taking more Chirps to the exit at a time will increase your score exponentially. When all the Chirps have been Pied Piper’ed to the exit, the level is complete. Players have to watch out for cats and other enemies that will scatter the Chirps or kill Flicky in one hit.

This game reminds me a bit of Mappy and City Connection because of the layered stage designs. The fact that you’re controlling a slippery character makes me think of City Connection too: Flicky doesn’t have very smooth footing and tends to slide a lot. The jumping arc is kind of wonky, and these things are probably just to tweak the difficulty in the game’s favor. It’s rewarding to take six or seven Chirps to the exit at a time and watch as the high score gets knocked up a few thousand points, as it takes some finesse and a little luck to pull it off.

It’s in the later levels that Flicky really starts to show its arcade roots. Level layouts become more complicated, enemies become more plentiful and the game introduces dead ends in some of its stages. There are several dozen levels, but it’ll take a lot of mettle (or quarters, in the arcades) to make it there. Between the slippery physics and the overabundance of enemies in the later stages, this can become a real bear in a short amount of time. It’s fun in small doses, though.

The graphics in Flicky are colorful and the sprites are cute, but there’s some serious color clashing here. The color choices in many stages are just awful - they’re hard to look at. The music is upbeat, but I can’t recall any particular melody or catchy part of the game’s theme.

Arcade games are kind of fleeting as far as long-term game sessions are concerned. This makes a great addition to a Sega game compilation because of its display of the company’s early works, and it’s interesting to consider that this even influenced Sonic games later on. Flicky’s more of a footnote, though. On its own, it’s fun for a little while and would make a great time investment for Sega or arcade enthusiasts.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Product Release: Flicky (US, 12/31/91)

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