Review by Mark Terry



Graphics: ?

Sound: ?

Gameplay: ?

Overall: 9

The Villains: Tiger the Cat and Iggy the Iguana

The Victims: Chirps

The Hero: Flicky the Bluebird

I can't think of a more unlikely hero than a bluebird. But in this day in age of heroes being plumbers, hedgehogs, and bandicoots then who am I to judge the life saving abilities of Flicky.

The Genesis version, the only arcade to home adaptation I'm aware of, is a carbon copy of the upright brought to us in all it's blazing simplicity. I feel that if it weren't for this reproduction the game would have surely been lost in the obscurities of time.

The premise is simple. Save 8 little yellow chicks called "Chirps". The Chirps hover about mindlessly waiting to be rescue from their evil captors and brought safely to the promiseland called the "Exit". Flicky flies around ( more like hops around, he never quite got the grasp of sustained flight ) and touches the Chirps who are so grateful that they follow him till all 8 Chirps form a spellbound feathered conga line greatly resembling Dennis Rodman's entourage. As the game progresses some of the Chirps don sunglasses causing their vision to be impaired. When separated from the flock by a pouncing cat the Chirps wonder aimlessly in a panic. To make matters worse the visually challenge chicks even run away from you making a timely rescue more difficult.

Your efforts are scored in 3 ways. The faster you get all the Chirps to the exit and how many Chirps are saved at once. I won't bore you with all the mathematical jargon suffice to say it behove you to save all the chicks as quickly as possible. This is where patterns are form for each level. The third way is in the bonus rounds where Flicky uses a net to collect falling Chirps who have been maliciously hurled into the air by the cat powered ( no pun intended ) catapults. the bonus level plays much like Galaga's Galactic Dancing. Save all the Chirps from sudden deceleration trauma and get a substantial reward. Most excellent.

My first impression of Flicky was less than stellar. In our local arcade the game sat on the right hand side near the front next to a strange and seemingly forgotten title named "S.W.A.T." Flicky looked like a kids game. A cute cartoonish bird, a brood of cute little chicks, a cute fuzzy pawed cat and a cute green speed demon lizard all set against cute nursery style backgrounds. Cute, cute, cute. Too friggin' cute to be played by a 15 year old boy. Cute was suppose to be what was hanging off your arm on a Saturday night date. NOT a video game you would be caught playing. But for those of us who gave is a curious play and experienced it's unequalled charm found it to have a multi-level challenge and addictive gameplay all wrapped up in a cute package. Go fig. It was great!

Now this ultra cute game was not without the everpresent sex and violence factor of today. Let's start with the sex part. For some strange and unknown reason to me on certain levels if an undisclosed number of points are scored or if a particular collecting pattern was done, a scantily clad homosapien female (a chick of a different species) appears in one of the background windows and shakes her panty covered booty at you. WOOHOO! I am clueless as to how or why this occurs. The instructions don't even hint at it. Maybe it's there so that 15 year old boys without dates on Saturday night had something to look at. Anyone got an answer?

Now the violence. Our cute bluebird of haplessness has to defend himself from the sharp clawed cats and the slimey grossness of the iguana. He does this by chucking coffee cups, flower pots, trumpets and even baby bottles directly at the heads of his attackers sending them into a twirling frenzied spin till their skin flies off and they disappear completely. At least I think the skin thing happens. Anyway, this kind of game violence is disturbing and should be addressed by Congress. Oh wait....... they already have.

What I find to be the most intriguing feature of Flicky is it's ability to combine aspects of a puzzle game ( patterns, addictiveness) with elements of a platform game ( ah, um,...platforms ). After a few minutes into play you are hooked and really don't know why. The platform portion is not extensive as Mario. The puzzle part is not as cerebral as Tetris or as panic ridden as Bust-A-Move. There is just something about this fearless feathered fighter for freedom known as Flicky that empowers you with such a feeling of heroism that you can't help but love it.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:24 PM