Synchronized swimming never got more boring, true story.
The Olympics is still in full swing, and some have devoted the better part of their summer holidays to following everything on offer. Considering how massive an undertaking having the Olympics there hasn’t been that many games following in it’s wake. Sure there is an official game, and some new skins to old sports games but compared to the Halloween, and Christmas floods the Olympics live a humbler life in the App Store. Not to rub anyone the wrong way Chillingo releases a multisport game during the Olympics without any mention of the very word. If you have more than two brain cells you can kind of fill out the blanks yourself, and it is not hard to imagine the title Flick Olympics, or Flick Champions Olympics Edition.
Flick Champions is all about creating accessible versions of popular sports that anyone can get into, and play within seconds. The original game featured eight popular sports: soccer, basketball, hockey, tennis, bowling, archery, American football and golf. It was a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to being fun more than once, but still none stood out as completely filler.
Flick Champions World Edition has a less appealing line-up with a couple relying on the same mechanics some sports games for the Commodore 64 had some 25 years ago. Running with or without hurdles is such an example. A small bar has to be “scratched” as quickly as possible. Release to jump, and then swipe again. I call it scratch because if you hold the iPad, or iPhone in your lap it looks like you are kind of scratching an itch. Not a fun event at any rate. The kayak follows the same principle, but also includes a demand for steering by swiping across the left or right paddle. Again scratching that itch that doesn’t look too good in public transports. Swimming is less offensive by having you swipe to swim, and then tap quickly to turn for the next lap. Finally we have the throw events: javelin, and hammer throw. The javelin is quite basic with a flick to run, and some quick taps to throw. The hammer throw however is a completely other story. Lets say it like this: don’t let your girlfriend play this on the but, as it really looks like she is scratching an itch. A circular movement in the ring, and then release to throw.
Ok, so most events have a lot of swiping, tapping and general exertion to execute. There are however a couple of ball sports (nothing to do with an itch). The volleyball is the best of all the events in my opinion with simple flick controls to control the passes, and smashes. The handball is almost impossible to score in due to almost magnetics keepers, but still it is playable. Both handball, and volleyball could be 99-cent standalone games, albeit not the best ones at that.
The final event is the most atrocious, and I really think it has been put in the game to annoy people. Synchronized swimming, think about it. How would you make it into a game? Well you can’t really. What we get here is four swimmers that you have to quickly swipe into rings to perform the next move. If it sounds boring it is because it is.
The presentation is good with nice production values, and overall the Flick Champions look like cool John Gore clones with headbands. What it lacks however is life, and the crowd shines with its absence. But then again that is what the Olympics is all about: empty seats, and empty corporate boxes.
Flick Champions World Edition has a number of different ways to play through the events. Quick game, championship mode and a daily challenge mode. Still that doesn’t really matter when the events aren’t interesting no matter how you mix them. Whenever I get synchronised swimming, running, kayaking, handball or javelin I sigh. More than half of the events were boring the first time I tried them, and that is kind of the issue here. Where is the trampoline diving for example that has worked well in other Olympics games?
Flick Champions World Edition has a lot of content, but the quality is dubious. It is simply not fun to play most events. A multiplayer mode on the same device would have saved a lot of it, as two dudes scratching an itch on the same iPad is always more fun than the solitary game.
I would have preferred the game to be all athletics with a focus on the more technical events such as pole vaulting, high jumping and long jump. The selection on offer now is so eclectic that it makes little sense, and playing a championship is not a coherent experience at all. Flick Champions World Edition is a perfect example of editing not being done when the game was planned. Now it is a smorgasbord of sports, and you all know you eat too much and regret not having the strength to limit yourself.
Flick Champions World Edition $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Chillingo Ltd.