Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All
Flappy (NES) artwork

Flappy (NES) review


"At 200 levels, Flappy lasts far too long, but it's decent enough that I wound up playing in longer stretches than I'd planned. It's a simple enough puzzler: push squarish boulders in half-width increments, possibly balancing them on the edge of the boulder/platform below. Gravity affects them but not you, and each level has a shiny boulder you must push some way to a shiny platform to advance. "



At 200 levels, Flappy lasts far too long, but it's decent enough that I wound up playing in longer stretches than I'd planned. It's a simple enough puzzler: push squarish boulders in half-width increments, possibly balancing them on the edge of the boulder/platform below. Gravity affects them but not you, and each level has a shiny boulder you must push some way to a shiny platform to advance.

This makes for several interesting puzzles, where you fill pits or stack towers with regular bouldres, but ones like level eleven are most memorable. There, Flappy must schlep two stacked boulders across the screen, each a half-width at a time. At least you get passwords every five levels.

Flappy himself is an eight-bit Pikachu who finds and shoots darts at his barely animated enemies. Snakes bounce left and right but can "see" Flappy if he's in their path. Crabs can zero in diagonally and move less randomly. Enemies play nasty prevent defense when they can't see you and chase aggressively when they can. If they get a few steps behind, forget it. Flappy, true to his blobby form, takes time to fire. Enemies also may take angles requiring Flappy to sidestep and fire, or they'll zigzag to the side of a boulder. Moving one sideways into them, or a wall, crushes it.

And with lousy controls, this is too easy. Since levels are economical with boulders, it's easy to ruin a lot of work with one slip. The time Flappy takes to turn can also shift him a half-width over, crushing a boulder or not dropping it as hoped. Even once you've learned the rules and have the stun enemy/drop boulder process working, many puzzles ask for administrative work far beyond that a-ha moment, and checking off on the controls is additional overhead.

Moving boulders a half-width allows for many interesting ways to progress in a puzzle. It shuts enemies out of a path, create a longer platform, or allow Flappy to create a leaning diagonal tower to drop a boulder where it didn't seem he could. Often, only certain chutes are available to drop boulders on enemies and still push the shiny one across. Between dragging boulders across the screen and annoying monster defence, though, impatience is inevitable. Nothing to press the ten minute time limit, but it often feels like being ordered to check your work in math class.

Too bad. Even levels containing walls forming American or Japanese letters, or with hallways or grids or pits to dump boulder stacks, are surprisingly thoughtful. Pushing a boulder to square X may be easy, the next one over is needed to complete the level. That irrelevant boulder in the upper corner--isn't. One level even forces you to push an eight-high tower out at a thirty-degree angle. Here monsters on the other side waiting to crush boulder fray a player's patience here even with save states. Levels take a while, except those with wide-open spaces where Flappy must fake out and shoot crabs quickly. Surprisingly, the 200 levels don’t repeat any solutions obviously.

Control nuisances, sadly, do. They discourage people from get to the clever puzzles, or even the first bonus level. Flappy conducts a jolly maze chase as crabs and snakes run from HIM for a minute. It's possible to cornering several crabs and snakes so Flappy collects them all before time runs out, and the randomness changes pace nicely from the rigidly logical levels. The looping tune gets cheerier and the brick walls change to light green from dark brown, making for higgledy-piggledy retro cuteness far beyond Flappy's butt-fall deaths or level-ending bounces. It's too bad bonus levels end so quickly and occur just before the next password.

To compare Flappy to other NES games, it's about one-fifth Boulderdash and four-fifths Castlequest. Puzzle enthusiasts will recognize what's clever about the better puzzles, making Flappy tolerable with sped-up emulators and save states. The levels are disorganized, though, and the controls are unresponsive for a simple game. Still, Flappy lasts without committing grave sins, leaving the player with the sort of ennui he plays games to escape in the first place.


Rating: 4/10

aschultz's avatar
Community review by aschultz (December 24, 2009)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by aschultz
Jones in the Fast Lane (PC) artwork
Jones in the Fast Lane (PC)

Jones isn't perfect but offers revealing rat-race insights beyond the densely-packed jokes that never get cynical or fluffy. I found myself calculating how to cram in quick cheap education before week's end, or even working way more than I needed to or putting off asking for a raise (yes, it's just a game. Yes, ...
Bikkuriman World: Gekitou Sei Senshi (NES) artwork
Bikkuriman World: Gekitou Sei Senshi (NES)

It showed me that, yes, RPGs can transcend language. Maybe none can as well as your average puzzle game. But BW has lots more fun trying and getting far closer than expected.
Circus Caper (NES) artwork
Circus Caper (NES)

I felt little guilt replaying through it with cheats on, and I recommend anyone who wants to check it out do the same...But fortunately the cheap deaths will fade away much sooner than the bears on unicycles and such instead.

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Flappy review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Flappy is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Flappy, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.