Commuting Cognition: Flick Champions Extreme Sports

What is this?

I’ve never been a big mobile game player, but I ended up working in a mobile games company, so I’ve been trying to expose myself to more games in this market and attempt to gain an ever-better understanding of them. One of the ways I’ve been doing that is in trying out new games, seeing what they do wrong and right, and try to draw conclusions from them that I can use in the future to make our games better. One of the resources I’ve been using for this is TouchArcade (not sponsored), and their columns listing the new iOS games of the week.

This resulted in me playing a lot more new games during my daily bus rides, but I also feel the need to discuss them somewhere and keep a log of my thoughts instead of just internalizing them. So, Commuting Cognition. These will be brief, bus-ride-long thoughts on these games, and should be seen less as reviews and more as first impressions. They also may not be daily, depending on how full the bus is that day.

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Flick Champions Extreme Sports

Flick Champions Extreme Sports is a collection of mini-games, all based on drag-and-drop mechanics. There are five types of mini-games, all with a variation on the mechanic.

To me, by far the most interesting of the mechanics was the cover shooter one. The game has you drag and drop your character onto chest-high walls to move and take cover, then tap the screen to fire at opposing enemies. The controls are odd, it’s very easy to not be able to move to where you want to go, but i see a lot of potential in this, especially if used in a turn-based context; a streamlined XCOM-like using a variation of this mechanic could be quite good indeed.

The running mode is a straightforward lane runner that has you swipe to move sideways, jump, and duck, but i found it bizarrely easy to unwillingly hit obstacles behind you when trying to dodge, most likely because the character is further ahead than i’m accustomed to on other games of this type.
The sailing one is similar to the marathon, but it’s free-movement and has you drag to move in the opposite direction.
The gliding one is similar to the sailing, but the character follows your drag instead of moving away from it.
Finally, the climbing one has you drag and release slingshot style to make your character jump ahead.
These are solid enough, but none of the mechanics grabbed me nearly as much as the cover shooter.

The level of polish is more than indicative that there is money behind the game, so it wasn’t very surprising to discover that apparently this is part of a whole franchise. I guess they’re popular. Why does every single character have the same skin colour, though?

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