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iPhone Game Review: Flickitty

Posted by: Tina at 11/14/2009 10:39 AM
I’m inclined to believe that an overwhelming amount of the games available to the iPhone and iPod Touch are made only to adjust to the device’s mechanics. What about a game that is made for the device, instead? I hear a lot of talk about the future of mobile gaming, but it’s a rare occasion that you see any innovation on that front. Flickitty does not only represent that innovation I’m looking for in iPhone games, but it trumps all others based on its delightful artistic value.

Flickitty is a game centered on a hopeful kitten with the hazardous desire of becoming a star employee. Even when confronted by clear signs of the lack of appreciation doled out by his hilariously rude, and sometimes not altogether employers, Flick the kitty is determined to be granted his title. In order to help Flick along his quest, you can virtually (and appropriately) flick him through the environment to particular destinations or missions, whereby he will go flying in the direction you’ve pointed him. When directing Flick’s projectile, you’ll notice his behavior is similar to ragdoll physics. His neck effectively becomes stretched outward, and he will tumble through the air bumping into barricades or, to his misfortune, a hazard. The various hazards will injure Flick accordingly.

There are five maps to explore, all with basically similar missions to undertake. Flick’s usual tasks involve some sort of interaction with physical objects on each level. Whether it is fetching them, destroying them, fixing them, etc, Flick has to finish his tasks all while avoiding the hazards strewn across the maze of each level. Your time taken to complete each task, as well as how many penalties or hazards you hit will be recorded, but they do not restrict you from the well-deserved prize upon completion of each task. Each prize is a new and stylish hat, making Flick look even cuter than he does hatless.

This is where I make my distinction between the game maneuvers themselves, and the artistic quality of Flickitty. Taking a deeper look at the gameplay itself, I felt that it grew to be monotonous after the first few levels. Granted, each level makes use of its environment in a distinctive way: you’ll be focusing on keeping Flick from falling due to the gravity in the mines, while keeping him from floating up due to the H2O in the labs.

However, after playing the demo version of the first level based in the mines, I was expecting future levels to be radically different in their scenarios or perhaps their missions. Missions were generally under the familiar concept of retrieving an item and relocating it in some fashion. There were, however, the occasional interesting additions to the set of obstacles. For instance, certain obstacles will actually fire shots at you, others will follow dangerously close to you to physically hurt you, and others will be swimming around waiting for you to catch them. I also experienced a consistent amount of lag and a few bugs here and there. I’ve definitely had a few moments where Flick waited expectantly with his head stretched in the air at a standstill instead of flying through the environment like he should have. I won’t knock the gameplay completely because I did love the mechanics and the idea of Flick himself. He moves intuitively, and I felt like I was finally playing a game that had the iPhone in mind.

Where my interest really was, however, is in the second half of my distinction of the game. Flick is really fabulously drawn, and it comes as no surprise given a glance at the work of the artist behind Flickitty. Flick is cute in that terribly sad way that can only lead to sympathy for his disgruntled expression, as well as empathy for his cause. More impressive is the attention to detail given to Flick. Each injury caused by their respective hazards renders Flick a completely different character. Electricity can run to his very bones, and bandages might wind all the way up Flick’s poor neck. The hats, too, are causes for applaud. You might be suspicious of the worth of a hat as a prize to completing what can sometimes have been a frustrating mission, but they are actually very enjoyable. Each hat is a unique style: Flick sometimes will even get cool goggles to sport. You can check my screenshots for some of the gear that Flick will win in each level. I also sacrificed my poor Flick to some injuries just so you could all see what I am talking about for yourselves.

Perhaps if there were future plans for any more development with Flickitty, I would love to see the same design in terms of the art behind the game but with more variation in gameplay. Flick’s movements are intuitive, and definitely iPhone savvy. Now I want to do more with him.

Flickitty Free: $0.00
Flickitty:$0.99