Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Flappy'

Rating:4 User: Digital Prawn

Welcome to the world of Flappy and prepare yourself for long nights in front of the computer screen scratching your head in this level based transport puzzler.

The game was released in 1990 by Czech publisher KVL, four years before they released the brilliant "Boovie".

Flappy is logically equivalent to Boovie in that you must push an item across the level onto a location marked by an arrow, overcoming various obstacles and antagonists. The difference is that the item is a white egg instead of a white block.

Being an earlier game, Flappy also lacks the vibrant colourful graphics and AY music of Boovie and is frankly a little sluggish and unresponsive compared to the later games. It's strangely lacking in colour altogether and has infrequent, primitive sound efffects. The loading screen is also worth a mention as IMHO it's so amateur it's endearingly funny. The game also takes a few seconds of initialisation for each screen to appear. However, these things won't matter one jot to puzzle fans as it's the actual puzzles themsleves that matter here.

Use WZIP keys to move Flappy around the level. Push the white egg onto the location marked by the arrow (actually a small black triangle) to complete the level. Grey eggs can be either moved around or crushed and can support other eggs (grey or white) on top of them. Enemy sprites can be defeated by either dropping eggs on them or by picking up and then firing small projectiles. I found that the enemy sprites will merely be stunned by one or two projectiles whereas three will kill them. (In Boovie I think only two were needed). Press SPACE to fire a projectile. Like in Boovie, objects can be positioned at half grid-square resolution, which is crucial to solving the puzzles.

If you mistakenly make the level unsolvable (which happens frequently) then press 'T' followed by 'A' in order to reset the level and start again, at the cost of one life. The game has a password system allowing skipping to higher levels, but from what I can gather there isn't a password for every single level. You also start with five lives (since falling objects can crush you and enemy sprites can kill you), but perhaps if you use end-of-level snapshots, then this may not be too relevant.

Overall, if you've completed Boovie and Boovie 2, or even if you just love these "transport puzzle" games and are looking for something a bit different than Sokoban then you must absolutely play this one. The primitive sound and graphics will be largely irrelevant when it comes to the sheer enjoyment of puzzle-solving. Of course the early levels are trivially easy, but they get much harder as you progress through the game.