Kill the Fly
Release Date:February 24, 2010
Price:$0.99 (lite version available)
Summary:Bugs buzz around and try to eat the small clump of poo nestled in the corner of the screen. What do you do? KILL THEM ALL.
These crazy flies are the real killers of Kill the Fly. The Kamikaze fly is but one of the many winged pests you will encounter in this strangely addicting app by Playsteria, an appropriately titled company name, if I may say so myself. Kill the Fly will definitely drive you to hysteria, if in a playfully frenetic way, with its onslaught on flies, bees, and other winged catastrophes waiting to dive toward the pile of poo which you’ve weirdly been enlisted to defend. In FowlPlay we used poo as a weapon – in this game, it’s something to be protected. Hmm, I’m sensing another themed week! I’m sure my boss would love for me to pitch Poop Week on Appstruck.
Poop Week or no poop week, Kill the Fly means protecting a pile of it, and using your fingers to smash any attempts by the flies to dive toward it, in pleasurable insanity. The game begins oddly, with cheery music of the pop diva variety, one that would belong in a casino lounge alongside men in drag a la the Birdcage – or, just a terrible commercial talking about how such and such pharmaceutical can change your life. I always focus on the musical elements in games, because good music can give extra thrust to
a game, make it more enjoyable. This music is just so far wayward from the premise of this game, that it actually works. It’s just as kooky as the kooky bug illustrations – which, I might add, resemble cutesy stickers I could buy from Japantown at Kinokinuya Bookstore – and just as kooky as the funny, very human-sounding buzzz and eeerroooo noises the bugs make. The whole look of the game is very cutesy and Asian in some of the motifs, and in some of the sayings by “wise master” Xou Han like, “Water has never been as good as ground to smash flies.” Yes, yes, this is very true, given ground is solid and hard and water is, well, water. Thank you, oh wise one.
Why is it that squishing bugs in games is so much more satisfying than in life? Well, for one, squishing real flies involves a slight shriek from most people, followed by a slow peeling back of the swatter, or, god forbid, your thumb, accompanied by a stretched out “eeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww.” Besides, when swatting a fly in life there is no splat, no squish, no sound of any kind other than the moan that escapes your lips. In this game, the squash sounds slightly curdled, rippling with blood and entrails (though there are none, only a blood splatter), along with a low, barely detectable crunch to round out a proper effect. It’s all so squishy and awesome, darting your fingers across the screen, tapping and squishing to your heart’s content. The housefly is of no concern, really – they buzz around in weird configurations, like those gnats that forever remain on the square trail they zip over your chair, and they usually never head toward the poo. They just know it’s there, somewhere. Their real purpose is to distract you in hordes while other, more impetuous insects make their appearance. The Kamikaze fly and the Fast fly are the two you really have to watch out for. Both make a straight beeline to the poo, with no other objective than to land, eat, and take away points from you. The Kamikaze yells BANZAI! and explodes like a bomb when you squish him; that is, if you can squish him, he’s a fast bugger, that one. The Fast fly is notable for his blue color and his varying sounds of eeeerrooooo, thhpptpppttt, nnnneeeeeeeeeerrrrr, and so forth. It’s pretty amusing, and he’s pretty easy to squish if you’re paying attention. The other two insects you see are the big, cumbersome large fly and bumblebee. Both sort of saunter around, just getting in the way with their large, thwap thwap sounds, and taking four or more hits until they finally perish beneath your thumb. They’re mostly annoying, though kind of pretty, physically.
You start the game in Paolo’s garden, and make your way through four rounds of that before gaining access to other levels. In Save the Crap mode, you protect the poo in one of three difficulty settings – Easy, Normal, Nightmare – whereas in Massacre Mode you just try to kill as many bugs as possible, dragging them this way and that, making sure combos and blood are an everlasting staple of the playing field. I prefer Save the Crap Mode, because mindless killing, while fun, doesn’t quite hold a candle to the poop game. In the poop game, the farther along in levels you get, the more obstacles and saving graces appear to add dimension to the game. Cacti, broken nails and glass, for example, wreak havoc on your thumbs when squishing plants, leaving blood fingerprints with your every tap and negatively impacting your score. Other obstacles appear in the form of water, sewer holes, and other purported “soft surfaces” that prevent you from squishing a bug in that setting. Tools of the bug-killing trade take the form of a large fly swatter, bug spray and more whenever things get too fly-ridden. In Nightmare mode, you’ll be using these a lot, because the ever-present swarm on screen will be driving you to hysteria in no time.
In the end, there’s really only one sentence I can recommend in advice. As wise master Xou Han says, with the gravest of sageness, “KILL THEM ALL.”