Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Flick sports titles have been part of an iOS gaming diet for as long as I’ve been playing. Chillingo collects some of the most popular and puts them in one package in Flick Champions HD. This title has four sports - soccer, tennis, basketball and hockey - available to play as soon as the game is opened. Earning experience points (XP) or in-app purchase unlocks the remaining four - bowling, archery, baseball and football.
Calling these all flick games is a bit misleading. Soccer and basketball use flicks, while hockey and tennis are more about sliding, but what all the games have in common is their simplicity. To score a player just needs to line up a good shot with a single finger and let go. The graphics are cute and fit the faux-sporting motif. The athletes and crowds are block-headed little men with big eyes and a fair amount of personality for people that might have been assembled from a Lego kit. The playing fields are basic, but well-defined. The music can be a bit grating, but the sound effects are charming, especially the cheering, chanting, even coughing from the stands. Each game has its own distinct gameplay and two basic modes – exhibition and cup. In exhibition mode, there are three difficultly levels from novice to pro and a head-to-head mode for single-device multiplayer action. The cups also have varying difficulty levels but must be completed in in order.
Soccer, the mainstay of this genre, is the sport I liked least in Flick Champions HD. It feels more like foosball on an oddly curved board. Basketball is also a flick game, and the most basic of the four starter games. Tennis is, of course, a two-player affair. Just line up a serve and then just keep a finger on the player to ensure he’s in the right spot to return the shot. Hockey is basically air hockey and the fastest paced game. The crowd is rowdy and it’s a lot more fun that guiding a paddle even if the mechanics are the same. It’s safe to assume the other four games are much the same mix of flicking, tapping and fun.
There isn’t much to pick on – the gameplay isn’t deep, but it isn’t meant to be. In the pure flick games, I would have liked a little more sensitivity to the strength of the flick – most of mine seemed to go the same distance and have the same impact regardless of my intended velocity - otherwise, the games worked as expected.
Flick Championship HD is eight above par flick titles in one universal package. It’s definitely worth the pick up if even one appeals.