Flick Champions World Edition
Olympics-inspired edition fails to make a podium placement.
With the London 2012 Olympics well into full swing now, it shouldn't come as an awfully big surprise to see a variety of sports tournament titles popping onto consoles and mobile devices. So it is with Flick Champions World Edition, a game that seeks to satisfy your working day sports-coverage cravings without attracting the wrath of the IOC's terrifying licensing laws.
Over at the swimming pool, you need to tap to dive in before swiping up and down the screen frantically to get to the end of each length faster than your opponent can, although it's shame that there's no penalty for an early dive off the platform, and there's also a rather fussy feel to the rhythm of your strokes. The synchronized-swimming is a much better water-sport overall, and you'll enjoy the frantic rush of steering individual swimmers into various formations in the pool.
The kayak controls are fiddly indeed, and you'll find it tough to swipe on the individual oars to steer your kayak left and right through the gates, and paddling each one alternately to pick up speed is a real headache.
In handball, you'll struggle to score very easily given the static positioning of your players. Apparently, you can utilize a Coach mode to move players around the screen, although it took is around twenty minutes to find it and we found that it offered little in the way of improvement to positioning and scoring.
Volleyball works a little better, and you'll need to apply some quick finger-taps to pass the ball to your team-mate in time, along with some equally fast swiping if you want to return the ball to your opponents' sand. Sadly, there's very little directional control, so you'll score as many points from your opponent's poor positioning as you will from your own breathtaking dexterity.
Next up is the javelin event, where you'll need to flick in a straight line to get your sprinter going, before tapping the screen to launch the javelin just before you hit the foul line. It's the most competently executed of all the sports, although there's really no way of telling the difference between a 'Good!' and a 'Perfect!' throw, with the former attempts flying just as far as the latter. As with that other favorite event, the hammer-throw, you'll find it fun for a while but any performance improvements will feel rather accidental on your part.
Also in the big stadium are the running events, some with hurdles, others a series of flat-out sprints to the finishing line against increasingly zippy opponents. You need to swipe back and forth just beneath your sprinter to get him up to speed, although as with the swimming events the rhythm feels a little off-kilter, and the timing needed for hurdle clears is brutally unforgiving.
You can choose to take these sporting events on either as a quick one-off play session, or as part of a Daily Challenge which gives you a generous XP boost as well as a handful of tokens that are used for purchasing various boosts. In the Champ Mode you'll need to select at least four of your strongest events to compete in, while over in the Cups section you can master sports on an individual basis.
If you read our review of Enchanted Realm you'll know that we promised to start calling out games that offered players in-app purchase rewards in exchange for gaming the rating system on the App Store. Sadly Flick Champions does indeed pester you for five stars in exchange for a rope that gets you out of the very same in-app purchase hole that the game has dug for you. With that said we didn't struggle to make progress in the game without the boosts conferred, so it gets off the hook (just).
Flick Champions World Edition certainly captures the spirit of the moment, and offers a decent selection of sports, although there's a mixed bag of quality to be found in the individual events. The progression system is neat though and offers up plenty of replay value, assuming you limit yourself to the more competently realized disciplines.
What's Hot: A decent selection of sports to keep you in the mood for the Olympics, with a nice art styling and a solid progression system
What's Not: Some of the sports are very poorly implemented.