Review by Lisanne

Reviewed: 03/28/04

Come, little chickedees! Let us away to a land through an exit door where we shall rule the world!

Flicky is one of those games that makes you - well, not you personally, but ''you'' in its generic term meaning ''people in general'' - say ''What the heck is this all about then?!''. I do not know what the heck this is all about then, to be honest, as the story is barely apparent in the game and only glossed over somewhat fleetingly in the manual. This game has no need of stories or other trifling incidentals such as that anyway as it has something far more important - actual gameplay. Yes, back in the olden days people used to be able to get away with releasing games which would be judged purely on the merits of their playability without having to include hilariously redundant CG sequences and/or lots and lots of really big guns.

So then, Flicky is a game which came out aeons ago when the baby Jesus was still a baby and Cher had only just released his/her first album. Yes, it's that old! Vaguely connected through exceedingly tenuous means to Sonic the Hedgehog, the Flickies are a species of bird or some other kind of flying live things such as leaves on a windy day that have a tendency to get lost and/or have to be rescued. However, curiously, in this particular game the roles are reversed and you, Mr Flicky, are the one saving the poor little lost animals which are in this case bright yellow chicks seemingly with the intellect of buttered crumpets. To be brutally honest the only reason I know that they are not buttered crumpets is because I have never heard a buttered crumpet squeak when walked into before, except when it is steaming hot and the sprites for the yellow things have no steam coming out of them.

The means by which you rescue these sweet, innocent and pathetically stupid chicks are where the game gets interesting. In a typical level, you, Mr Flicky, appear through a door marked ''Exit'' even though its role is multi-purpose as both an entrance and an exit and therefore misleadingly labelled and begin your quest to gather together the little chickies by walking into them. The chicks will then follow you around the level like the limpets they are until you reach the entrance/exit door thing at which point they will suddenly rediscover their common sense and walk through it, avoiding the marauding tigers and iguanas that attempt to stop you with irritating frequency. Once all the stupid, noisy little creatures are through the door, hurrah! The level is complete and you get some points and a completely nonsensical bonus level in the form of catapulting chicks coming at you like wasps when you are eating a jam sandwich in July in a wooded area.

I do not know how many levels there are as the game is remarkably difficult in later levels and therefore despite my many, many hours of invested playing time, I have never actually completed this game. Oh cruel fate! Why must you taunt me so? Shall I never know the sweet kiss of the end of this game? The warm glow and gentle tears of emotion shed at the point of victory? Am I to be forever spurned by those darned tigers and their constant battering as they walk into Mr Flicky and cause him to break down into fits of hysteria, Oprah-guest style, despite the presence of what could laughably be referred to as ''weapons'' in the form of bits of scenery which can be released when Flicky jumps and which may or may not hit a tiger? Why me? Why? This is a heavily censored account of what one might exclaim in woe and frustration after seeing the words ''Game Over'' one too many times. The reality is, I yelled expletives even I had not heard before the last time I played. If nothing else, Flicky can help one to create new, exciting swear-words.

Suffice it to say that the difficulty level, despite seducing the player initially with the kind of ease that would not be out of place in a Disney game, is mind-bendingly high after about the third level. It keeps increasing and increasing, drawing you into its cruel grasp and forcing you to suffer a slow and painful descent into breakdown. This is further facilitated by the late 1980s acid house style neon colours and constant squeals of the chickies, creating a hypnotic effect that would break even the most hardened cynic and maybe even someone as emotionally strong and manly as Gwyneth Paltrow or that guy at work who fixes the computers.

There is no replayability as frankly if you defeat the game at all ever then you are hardcore and 1337 and have the biggest balls in the world. So ''REplaying'' is not really a factor. Playability is high though. It is certainly addictive.

This game is average. I think that it wants to take over the world by turning all gamers into unproductive mindless drones who go around trying to collect chicks and do little else, but hey, arguably they've already succeeded.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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