Before I started up Flicky for the first time, I actually thought I was going to be sitting down for an actual, proper platformer game in the same vein as Sonic or Earthworm Jim. Imagine my surprise when what I got was this crazy little arcade game about saving chicks (the feathered kind) while dodging cats and lizards… Or launching potted plants at them Tom & Jerry style!
And that right there is basically the entire game. Stages loop horizontally and you are tasked with collecting little yellow birds and returning them safely to the Exit elevator. All the while cats and eventually lizards will appear and try to take you out. Finish a stage, move on to a harder one.
I appreciate how the ensured I knew how to play it before we even started. “Help Flicky guide Chirps to the door! Press button to jump and shoot. Rack up a super score!” Got it. Chirps good, Tiger bad. The handling in Flicky is loose but in a good way. As a bird who can’t quite fly it would be expected that you’d slide, glide and float through levels, and maintaining that momentum all the way to the end was satisfying. As levels increase in difficulty, their layouts become more and more complex. Eventually you’re navigating simple mazes while collecting Chirps, and the challenge comes from find, and executing, the most efficient route through any one stage.
Presentation, Music and Sound:
While bright and colorful, the graphics, and especially the interface, in Flicky are lackluster at best. Sprites are small and simple and the UI elements sit on black backgrounds like an 80’s arcade game. While the game in fact is a port of an 80’s arcade game, it could really have been cleaned up for a release on the Genesis nearly ten years later. Sounds are the standard arcade styled bleeps, bloops and dings you’d expect, and the provides only a single music track that plays over and over and over again. Even so, the music is fitting and I don’t know that you’d ever be playing this one long enough for it to start to get tedious.
Fun & Relevance:
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fun playing with Flicky, but no more fun than I’d have with a game like Galaga or Pac-Man. Flicky is a fine arcade distraction but is ultimately unremarkable.