Flick Champions HD App Puts Popular Sports at Your Fingertips – Ryan O’Bryan’s Review
It's all the excitement and competition without breaking a sweat!
While sitting in my recliner watching the now infamous Monday Night Football game between the Packers and the Seahawks, I perused the App Store on my iPad looking for a new, preferably free, game to add to my collection. That's when I stumbled upon Flick Champions HD.
After reading the glowing reviews and checking out the game play photos, I thought I'd give it a shot. I like sports, and I like video games, and this app appeared to provide a unique way to have the best of both worlds. What did I have to lose? It was free to download, so if I didn't like it, I could just delete it. No harm, no foul.
You may have guessed by now that if I didn't like it, you wouldn't be reading this review because it wouldn't exist. Flick Champions HD gives players the opportunity to play soccer, basketball, tennis, hockey, miniature golf, bowling, and archery all with a simple flick of the index finger.
When you first open the app, the only sports available are basketball, soccer, hockey, and tennis. Playing each game gives the user XP points which will unlock the other sports as the required number of points to do so is reached. Winning matches will get you more points than losing obviously, but you do receive at least one point if you lose.
Each sport employs the same square-headed "athletes" in either blue or red jerseys, and gives the player the option of either playing a quick exhibition match or a tournament-style cup match pitting you against computer-controlled athlete's from other nations in an elimination bracket that requires you to win four matches in order to win the cup. All exhibition matches and cups offer three difficulty levels ranging from Rookie to Veteran. The higher the difficulty, the more XP points awarded for a win.
As the title suggests, game play is as simple as a flick of the finger with some sports a bit more interactive than others. In soccer for example, you field a team of seven players who remain stationary for the entire duration of the match, with you're only options being to pass the ball to your teammates or take a shot on your opponents goal. However, it's not as simple as it sounds. After each score, the computer moves all the players on the field to new positions which requires the user to employ mad geometry skills that include ricocheting shots off the sides of the playing field.
Like soccer, your five player basketball team remains in the same location for the entire match, with each player having the chance to take a shot on the opponents goal. The first team to hit the predetermined number of points wins. Again, this isn't has easy as it sounds. Both you and your opponent have the ability to block shots in mid-air with well-timed, quick tap of the screen. I played on Rookie level and won easily, but had more trouble with the mid and upper difficulty levels.
Tennis, hockey, and bowling have been my favorites to play so far as each gives you more control over your player with the ability to move him (or her, I suppose) around the screen by holding your finger anywhere on the screen and swiping in any direction.
Hockey is set up and plays like air hockey. A one-on-one match up where you serve as shooter and goalie, defending your own goal while trying to score on your opponent using creative bounces and angles off the sides of "rink" at the same time. Also like air hockey, the action can get fast and furious making it easy to lose track of the puck from time to time.
Tennis is set up in a similar way. You are free to move your player anywhere on your side of the court and there is no out-of-bounds, meaning the sides of the court can be used to angle a shot past your opponent. Unlike with hockey, you can attempt to rocket a shot past your opponent with a well-timed tap of the screen right as your player makes contact with the ball.
Regardless of what game you choose, how you swipe your finger to take a shot plays a major factor in how well you'll do. There were several times playing basketball where I could have sworn I swiped a straight line to the hoop only to have my shot sail right or left because the natural bend of my elbow caused my finger to curve slightly one way or the other without me realizing it. I found myself really concentrating on making a straight line by sticking my elbow out like a chicken wing and rotating my shoulders a bit.
There are times when that natural bend comes in handy. For example, when bowling, you'll want to use it to curve the ball just behind the front pin in an effort to score a strike or pick up a tough spare.
All in all, Flick Champions HD provides just enough challenge to make it fun without making it aggravating. When I lost (which happened frequently, especially on the tougher difficulty levels), I found myself trying over and over to until I finally scored a win. It's also simple enough that the kids can play and be successful and gives you the option to play against another human when you get tired of the computer handing you your rear end time after time.
The app is available for not only the iPad, but the iPhone, and iPod touch. Sorry Android users, as of right now, it is not available to you. Truth be told, based solely on the size of the iPhone and iPod Touch screen, the app seems best suited for use on the iPad.