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Tricky Kick (TurboGrafx-16) artwork

Tricky Kick (TurboGrafx-16) review

"Attention puzzle game gurus! Tired of taking apart videogame conundrums like so much Lego? IGS has your game. You won’t beat it any time soon. In fact, Tricky Kick’s box should wear a disclaimer: If you think you’re at all good at games, don’t play this. Your ego and sense of self worth may be smashed irreparably."

Tricky Kick asset

Attention puzzle game gurus! Tired of taking apart videogame conundrums like so much Lego? IGS has your game. You won’t beat it any time soon. In fact, Tricky Kick’s box should wear a disclaimer: If you think you’re at all good at games, don’t play this. Your ego and sense of self worth may be smashed irreparably.

Tricky Kick features six different 'themes'. NEC propaganda would have us believe that we’re playing six games for the price of one, but that’s not accurate at all. Basically, six wildly varying heroes are trapped, each in his own unique maze: the android character exists in his futuristic world, the caveman hero in his prehistoric one, and so on. The game uses an overhead view with cutesy characters and tunes, and your obstacles are mostly static animals (they look like game board pieces), each possessing one slight, looping animation.

The functions in each one of the six missions is the same: kick one creature into another of its ilk, and watch the two explode when they collide. Clear the screen of creatures to move on to the next round in that particular mission. The difficulty of each round demands that you circle the game screen, keeping the time limit in mind, before you begin smashing things together. However, just in case you kick the wrong thing at the wrong time, the game allows you to reset the screen you’re on with a retry option. This feature will get a lot of use.

You'll kick things off with what looks to be a simple task in the mission one, round one. Suddenly and brutally, the difficulty takes a violent upward swing. Say you employ a bit of skill, and lots of trial and error - making use of the infinite continues - to make it to mission one’s round four. You might grow frustrated when you’re inevitably met with an impasse, and you’ll try your hand at a differently themed mission, from its beginning.

BAM! It’ll be like someone slamming the door in your face. Your detour won’t work. You’ll try in vain to find an approachable level to play at, but will be met at every turn with mental roadblocks. I suppose this kind of frustration leads to tremendous replay value for some folks; they’ll keep at it for a long, long time. There's little doubt that for the patient, puzzle-loving set, Tricky Kick is definitely addicting, and that’s a job well done. If it's your thing, only the repetitiveness and the lack of musical variety and graphic polish, undermine its impact.

For everyone else, any compunction to stay the course for the ease of getting started and the welcoming presentation will be assassinated by a mind-numbing, better-than-thou difficulty curve. Alas, the majority of players will be turned off.

I find myself to fall somewhere in between. I can take a mental ass-kicking, but not on a regular basis. Your own stomach for brain-teasing, repetitive puzzle games will decide whether or not you'll want to keep on kicking through the game, or just kick the shit out of it.


Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (October 24, 2011)

There was a bio here once. It's gone now.

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JoeTheDestroyer posted October 25, 2011:

I could have sworn I've seen you review this before, Marc. ;)

Anyway, great job! I like that you covered the game without slathering it in hatred or praise. I think it you wrote it in just such a way that anyone will know what to expect--and whether or not they'll love it or hate it--while still giving us your take on it.
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Masters posted October 25, 2011:

Ha, thanks Joe. I'm surprised you noticed that this was up before..? Emp had plans to do some stuff with it as far as retooling, but he's away indefinitely, so I just threw it back up basically as it was.
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honestgamer posted October 25, 2011:

This was a fairly short review that told me everything I wanted to know about the game in a succinct fashion. I come away with some interest in playing the game, but also with appropriate reservations. It sounds like something I'd probably get a kick out of for 10 or 15 minutes, before anger set in and prevented me from playing any more of it. Good going!

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