Review by Shady

Reviewed: 11/12/01 | Updated: 11/12/01

Frustrating, yet addictive at the same time.

FLICKY!

Flicky is the game once called by my niece as 'a little boy's game'. She may very well be right - Flicky is a 'cutesy'-type puzzle game that places you in the role of a little blue bird that has to save yellow chicks (chirps) from evil kitties. If you can look past the whole 'cute' factor, Flicky is a fun and somewhat addicting experience.

The main goal of the game is to go through each of the 36 levels with the hopes of rescuing the so-called chirps from the evil kittens (and eventually an evil lizard). Being a hero is definitely not an easy task - not even for a little baby bird. In fact, saving all of the chirps can get downright frustrating due to a number of factors.

The biggest reason behind the frustration is the repetitive environments. Each level follows the same structure - head left and you will wind up in the same place you were when you started to move. Head right and the same thing happens. The environments never change, meaning you are stuck in the same repetitive location every time. The reason this is frustrating is because you can never actually run away from the kittens or lizards - they will always be hanging around ready to pounce on you.

One pounce and you're dead. An enemy can merely brush up against you and you lose a life (you are only given two lives to start). The easy deaths and repetitous environments mean that you must be extra careful when trying to rescue the chirps. If you aren't careful then you will, quite frankly, die.

There are six chirps that Flicky must rescue in the first two rounds - after that the number of chirps rises to eight. To actually 'rescue' them, you must catch 'em then bring them to a nearby door that is conveniently placed in each level (some levels have two doors). The more chirps that you pick up at once and successfully bring to safety, the more points you shall receive. You can also obtain extra points by being fast in your heroicness, and by doing good in the bonus rounds.

The bonus rounds take place in between every few levels. The premise is simple - the kittens fling a series of chirps in the air and you must catch them before they become catfood. These so-called 'bonus' rounds usually last around 30 seconds and are quite simple most of the time. If only the normal levels were that simple...

The game isn't all just about running away from the cats and the occasional lizard - you can throw various objects at them. The throwing technique is performed by jumping with one of the objects in your possession. If you successfully knock out an enemy, they will be dazed for a moment and you will have a chance to earn some extra points by picking up a dropped diamond. The kittens don't stay dazed long though - pretty soon they will be back and ready to terminate you.

With a seemingly endless assault from the enemies and the 'one touch and you're dead' system, the game can get incredibly difficult. In fact, the farthest I have gotten in the game is about halfway through (level 18). The game will take a lot of patience to complete and I seriously doubt many people will even bother finishing it.

Even with its high difficulty level, Flicky is not that bad of a game. Its difficulty is kind of what makes the game seem so addictive. You will want to keep playing just to see how far you can get, even though it will frustrate the hell out of you.

Flicky's visuals do not help the game out at all. They seem rather primitive - something that would belong in a NES game, not a Genesis game. The backgrounds are usually just one color, with the occasional rubber walls scattered throughout each level. The level designs actually aren't that bad, as it becomes more difficult to successfully reach the door in the later levels. The characters, though, are rather small and can get hard to see at times. Primitive indeed.

The audio department doesn't fare well either. You are forced to listen to one 'kiddie' music tune over and over again in each of the levels. That particular tune fits the game well but it becomes annoying after the first few times you play the game. A little more variety would have been nice. The sound effects can also become annoying. The worst of them all is the sound that plays when you die (something that you will be hearing a lot). Definitely could have been better.

Overall, Flicky is a decent little puzzle game in which its problems actually help the game. The high frustration factor helps make the game more addictive and the game has a simple concept, but as a whole it can't compete with other top puzzlers. Still, it is worth playing at least once. But beware - you will be playing 'a little boy's game'.

Best Feature: Addictive.
Worst Feature: Frustration.

Final Analysis:
Graphics 3/10 - primitive
Sound 3/10 - repetitive and poor
Gameplay 6/10 - frustrating but addictive
Control 6/10 - annoying rubber walls, but easy to learn
Replay Value 5/10 - won't be played too long
Challenge 9/10 - incredibly difficult and frustrating
Overall 6/10

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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