Genre: Maze Developer: Sega Enterprises Publisher: Sega Enterprises Players: 1-2 Released: 1991
When digging deep into my collection of games I came across the weird part of the closet. Here lay some of the oddest games I had ever played for various systems, ranging from either the generally wacky to the outright bizarre. Games like Snow Bros., Psycho Fox, and Alfred the Chicken seemed to be ones that stood out from the rest because of their originality and charm, while one that never escaped me was a game called Flicky on the Genesis.
The concept was odd, the game play was brilliantly uncanny and the comedic calamity of our little blue hero was even more original than I had anticipated. The story here involved a little blue bird called Flicky who had to go out to save a bunch of baby chicks (the feathered kind) kidnapped by an evil hoard of tigers and iguanas. Hmm, quite an unusual plot here and pretty original to say the least.
Flicky involves you trapped in an apartment, filled with a number of lost baby chicks. Using your wits, speed, and cunning you’ll have to avoid enemies in order to stay alive. You can get chicks to follow you by walking into them. You’ll then have to take them to the elevator at the bottom of the level. You’ll have to collect all of the chicks in order to complete the stage and avoid oncoming enemies (the aforementioned tigers and wall scaling iguanas).
You can get a high score by collecting a large number of chicks and rescuing them at the same time. This can be very frustrating to do though, as one hit by a bad guy will mean instant death and if they hit a chick it will cause your little entourage to fall apart, forcing you to collect them all again which can be a bit frustrating at times. There are only two bad guys in the game and they are very annoying as they can just touch you to kill you and you barely have any defense against them. To defeat them you’ll have to find objects such as speakerphones and throw them at baddies. A bonus stage awaits you after successful completion of a level where you will have catch chicks that the cats will catapult at you; a fun game but seemingly pointless.
The problems with Flicky are the absurd difficulty level and the fact that you have two lives and no continues. You’ll have to be very skilled to actually get past the first few levels mainly because of the fast paced bad guys and the basic control. The control is a bit wonky at time, as you’ll find that if you run a lot you’ll skid, leaving you prone to attacks. Moreover, the fact that when you jump you’ll go up and not forward that far limits the level of fun. The sloppy controls are very annoying and they will get your blood boiling quickly. Although the repetitiveness can enrage, the levels in Flicky all have the same concept and a very similar design so someone who enjoys a complex in-depth game might want to keep this game at an arms length.
Looking at Flicky in action you might actually think you are playing a Master System game due to its archaic layout. The detail is very limited and the sprites look like something drawn by a child. Everything is absolutely tiny, so Flicky, the chicks, and the enemies look more like something that you would doodle in a notebook rather than a character in a 16-bit game. I was expecting a lot more to be honest. The backgrounds are very childish and the nursery-like feel of it is just sickening. The graphics tend to appeal to younger gamers although the insane difficulty level will deter them instantly. The bright colours really stand out and if you stare at them for two long they make your eyes hurt (the walls are either bright green or eye-burning yellow). After suffering severe headaches from playing this game I would recommend that you sit a least a meter away from your television, especially if you’re epileptic.
The music also follows the childish theme and continues the 8-bit feeling that you get when you play it. The tunes are very happy and fun, pleasing someone under seven years old but frantically annoying everyone else. They are also very primitive in comparison with others on the system and believe me, you’ll want to have your speakers turned down here. The quality is appalling as the tunes are very tinny and drone on, plus they are high pitched. The sound effects are not too bad but they can also be a bit irritating (the chirping noise that occurs as your character jumps gets old after the tenth time you here it ) and the other sound effects also tend to be high-pitched and generally tedious after the first five minutes of gameplay.
Finally though, I would have to say to anyone who likes senseless arcade action and also someone who enjoys a great challenge. The game is very addictive and also has a high challenge factor. Anyone who can complete this game should be revered as a god because it’s so darn hard. The graphics and the sound look aged and the arcade version looked a lot nicer. I highly recommend that you go and play that instead of this one but if you do want it, get the collection cartridge that has three other games on it (Altered Beast, Gunstar Heroes. and Alex Kidd). You’ll get more for your money that way.
SCORE: 6 out of 10