As I get a little older and have less time overall to play games, I find that for the most part I’d rather spend an hour playing 2-3 simple and quick games rather than one long, complex game. Fly-flap certainly fits the bill, as the game is simple to understand and definitely quick to play (though I guess the latter depends on how good you are at it). The game is also deceptive. They said it was simple to play. All you have to do is tap the flies, they said. All you have to do is tap the flies…
Fly-flap is a game where you must clear away the flies. To get rid of a fly you need to tap on it. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? In the beginning it is. As the game progresses, though, the flies get faster. Also, you’ll get introduced to the bug, which can cause a big stink if you accidentally click on it. There’s even a spider which is actually a good thing, because you can drag a fly into the spider’s mouth for bonus points. Of course, this temporarily distracts you from the rest of the board, but it’s amusing! When you successfully tap a fly it will release a bubble which you can click for bonus points as well. Be wary, though, because if you accidentally tap an empty spot on the screen the meter on the left will go down, and when it’s empty the game is over.
There are actually two modes to Fly-Flap: Campaign and Arcade. Arcade mode simply walks you through a series of levels, each one more hectic than the last. You have to tap a certain number of flies on each level, and if you miss too many before reaching your quota you lose and have to start over. In Campaign mode there are a series of levels that each has a goal, like needing to feed a certain amount of spiders or trying to dodge bugs for a certain length of time. The campaign mode is a lot of fun, but sadly there are only 10 levels in this mode. Once you’ve beaten a level in campaign mode you can keep retrying that level to better your score, but I hope at some point they consider adding a bunch of levels to this mode, even if it’s through downloadable content.
To help (or hinder) your progress there are several bonuses. On the good side you get anti-fly spray, which lets you swipe to kill multiple flies at once instead of tapping. A horn will clear the screen of all flies, and “blinding” temporarily dazes the flies, making them easy to hit. These bonuses can be collected and used when you choose. There’s also a bonus that slows the flies down, and this gets applied automatically when you tap it. On the down side there’s double trouble, which swarms the screen with flies. There’s also a bonus that makes the flies go faster, and one that causes you to see double (or triple, even), making it hard to decide which is the right fly to hit. Despite the difficulties it causes, I actually like this negative bonus in concept.
The visuals in Fly-flap are great. These flies are not your average, wimpy garden variety flies, but rather bulbous, sarcastic looking beasts that like to stick their tongues out at you and grin with these conniving, crooked toothed grins. I also love the look of the spider as he’s eating a fly. There’s no question that the animation is quality. They also did a good job with the backdrops, giving them a cartoon look that fits the whole atmosphere of the game. The sound effects also work quite well. The “num num num” of a feasting spider cracks me up, as well as the less than energetic “yea” emitted any time you score a bonus item. The thing that sticks out the most, though, is when I died with a screen full of laughing flies (around level 13 on arcade mode). Talk about an eerie sensation. As for the music, well, let’s just say that it doesn’t even come close to the quality of the rest of the aesthetics. In fact, I spent about 10 minutes listening to it while working on something else, and I don’t think I’d care to ever listen to it again.
Fly-Flap is a lot of fun. It’s a simple concept that’s executed well, and it’s amusing to watch and listen to. I do hope they consider adding more campaign levels, and that background music has got to go, but otherwise there is plenty to like here. This is the kind of game that mobile devices were made for, and it’s definitely earned it’s place on mine.