148Apps Network Post
Developer: Chillingo Ltd.
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The Olympic Spirit is alive and well in Flick Champions World Edition. This Olympic sports-themed game will pit players against CPU and human opponents as they go for the gold on a global stage. Compete to be the best in 8 different, skill-based events.

Flick Champions World Edition harkens back to the days of broken joysticks and blistered palms. While the graphics and networking options are all completely modern, for those who remember what it was like to twiddle a joystick as fast as possible to make a pixelated character run, this will bring back a few memories.

Like those classic sports games, the controls are fairly straightforward, even if some of the directions aren’t. For example, I still haven’t quite figured out goal-keeping in Handball. The spinning in Hammer Throw is pretty difficult, and my Kayaking ability is just a red, hot mess. Then there’s the just-plain-confusing controls, like passing in Volleyball. Do I tap the teammate I want to pass to, or tap the passing teammate? Or, do I simply tap the screen and they pass automatically? There’s no explanation given, so I never know if I’m doing it right.

As a skill-based game, not everything is supposed to be easy, but there are other control problems, with the worst offender showing up while playing against another human on the same device in the Running event. As long as I had my finger on the screen, their switch wouldn’t work. Big problem.

Despite the flaws, I still enjoyed myself. Volleyball and Handball were intense, while Javelin, Sycro Swimming and Running (against the CPU) work perfectly. What seems like a casual game quickly becomes hardcore, especially when the weekly world rankings lists countries by the number of medals they’ve won. For every 1000 XP an individual earns through achievements and events, their country gains another medal. So, the pressure to put in a little extra time on a higher difficulty level was definitely on. Between my desire to beat personal bests while trying to earn medals and set world records, after about 2 hours, my whole right arm was sore.

One interesting addition to Flick Champions World Edition is the ability to unlock power-ups, either by building XP or paying a small fee. After about 2 hours, and 6400 XP, I have almost all of them open. Using them, however, requires tokens. Of course, using power-ups does feel a lot like cheating, so it makes sense that they aren’t free to use and that tokens can be hard to come by. Fortunately, the game features a daily set of challenges that can be completed to earn huge amounts of XP and a few tokens, just in case players don’t want to spend real money on them.

Flick Champions World Edition may not be a gold medal winner, but I can’t overlook just how into this game I got. It’s got its problems, but I still had fun.

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