Developer:Astalavista Game Development
Release Date:February 23, 2010
Summary:Squish flies, feed them to spiders, go crazy listening to their evil snickers as you pathetically miss squishing one fly after another. Strangely addicting.
*Lets out primal scream*
Okay, maybe that’s more of a animal roar, equivalent to me morphing into some hairy creature, with large, glistening fangs, and tearing off my shirt to make way for my expanding, beastly chest. Why the screaming? The panting and pounding of the chest, the wrath? Fly-Flap, a new game by AstalaVista. Trust me when I say those flies can be so pesky.
Of course, frustration isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Frustration can indicate either a ridiculously impossible scenario, or something that proves challenging enough to force you into repeated plays. Fly-Flap falls into the latter category: the game is solidly difficult. It challenges your reaction rate and finger speed by challenging you to kill flies and avoid beetles, at increasingly manic speeds. In some levels spiders appear, to your much-needed aid, and provide you with a means to double your points by slurping down any fly you drag to their mouths. They gobble them down and zip away off screen, but be careful not to tap on the spiders by accident, or you’ll send them falling to the ground, a slight scream escaping from their spider mouths. Their screams, along with the other sounds in this game, are apparently manufactured by the developers, themselves – and by manufactured I mean straight from their mouths. Oh yes, those screams and buzzes, and, yes, even the irksome,
snickering, slightly evil and beckoning “mehehehhehehehehe” sound the flies make are all brilliantly contorted from the developer’s vocal chords. I must give them a lot of credit for this because the sounds are all top-notch, if slightly eccentric.
Fly-Flap offers two game modes, Arcade and Campaign, the first of which entertains you silly with more and more flies, at faster and more blinding speeds, and the second of which offers a more structured gameplay, with levels and specific objectives. I preferred Campaign mode right off the bat, on principle alone – levels with explicit directions give me focus, a well-established goal to work toward. And, trust me, the objectives are not easy. Starting off on the second level, you must feed 10 flies to a hungry spider in one minute, while killing other hordes of flies that appear onscreen. In any other game, this would be an easy feat, but in Fly-Flap you have something called a lifemeter that loses life whenever you miss squishing a fly and tap the air, instead. That’s right, you’re actually punished for missing, and the game will end if your lifemeter runs out. Secondly, to actually earn the points you deserve for squishing the flies, you must also tap the point bubbles they release two seconds after the fact. Given the mad speed at which you’ll be squishing flies in this game, it’s not always an easy task to pop all the bubbles – you’re almost guaranteed to lose out on 500 points per round.
As you progress through the levels, you’re given various aids and bonuses to help you in your quest to rid nature of flies – poison, anti-bug spray (kills a multitude of flies at once), horns (frightens enemies), blinding (makes flies stop), slowdowns (no explanation needed), and more. Beetles are also introduced, and these are bugs you want absolutely nothing to do with. They’re only good for making you lose the game, erupting in a flurry of purple and pink gas that encases surrounding flies, and basically calls the Game Over title to appear. Definitely avoid tapping on these suckers.
Overall, the graphics are good, the sounds amusing, and the gameplay challenging and quirky enough to keep things interesting. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how entertaining the game was, and I will probably return for a few more rounds. I wish the game wasn’t quite so hard – sometimes it’s exceedingly difficult to aim for the flies, and sometimes it feels as if my finger taps aren’t registering – but in a way I relish the near impossibility. Far too many games are quick to play and over in a flash, so why not embrace Fly-Flap’s challenge and enjoy a little bug squishing?