If there’s one genre that’s prolific on the App Store, it’s mini-game collections. It’s not particularly surprising considering the general appeal for games that can offer small doses of gameplay for gaming on the go. Flick Champions [$0.99 / HD] looks to expand the genre with its own collection of sports themed mini-games. While Flick Champions certainly succeeds at providing some much-needed diversity in its sports mini-games, the fact that a lot of the better games are locked at the onset may irritate potential players.

As its name implies, the mini-games in Flick Champions are all centered on simple flicks and swipes in order to play each of the eight included mini-games. For example, both Tennis and Hockey are played as glorified Pong simulators which have you swipe around the field of play in order to block the ball (or puck) from scoring points on you. Other games, such as Bowling and Basketball actually require precise flicks in order maximize your scores in harder difficulties. Each game also has a variety of options to tinker with, allowing you to customize certain rules and make the gameplay as long (or as short) as you want.

When it comes to actual gameplay, Flick Champions has some fun games, but not all of them are going to be particularly compelling. As mentioned above, Tennis and Hockey are incredibly simplistic and, while fun, aren’t going to win any awards. Soccer is a sort of turn-based magnetic foosball simulator, and can be frustrating since a lot of the game is dependent on missteps from the opposing AI. Bowling and Archery were my most favorite games, as they actually require enough timing and skill that your success is mostly dependent on you and not the AI. The same goes for mini-golf, which features a whole 18-hole course and would be a good casual game on its own if it had more courses.

Another thing Flick Champions does a good job with is its overall presentation. The game has a definite Olympic-style motif which is prevalent in everything from your initial selection of a country to represent to its round-robin tournament ‘Cup’ gameplay mode, which has you playing against other countries for trophies (and experience). Also, the entire game, from the playfields to even the menus has a striking visual appearance (at least on retina devices). Some folks may be turned off by the simplicity of the player models (they look similar to ‘Mii’ avatars), but overall Flick Champions nails its visual style.

My only complaint with Flick Champions is the fact that only half the games are unlocked when you first pick up the title. Even more frustrating, the four that must be unlocked (Bowling, Archery, Mini-golf and Football) are by far the most interesting (and deep) games that are available in Flick Champions. Considering that the primary way of unlocking games is by accumulating experience through playing games, you’re going to see a lot of the first four games (at least a few hours’ worth) before you start unlocking the other titles.  Of course, an IAP option exists to unlock all collectibles and games instantly, but it seems a bit odd to have to pay extra to unlock these other games when you’ve already paid for the initial app download. I understand the need to create 'hooks' in order to encourage your player base to return to your game, but it would have been nice to have one or two more games available at the onset.

Overall, if you’re a fan of mini-game collections and you’re looking for a new fix, Flick Champions does a solid job of satisfying that need. There are certainly enough different games (assuming you’ve unlocked them all) for variety, and the available options and collectibles (along with a harsh difficulty on ‘Hard’) means that you’ll have plenty of reasons to return. However, if you don’t care for simplistic gameplay (or if you’re not a fan of sports games), don’t expect Flick Champions to offer anything particularly captivating.

TouchArcade Rating

  • VoodooVyper

    Every review I read lacks any commenting on the fact that there is no online multiplayer. A game like this screams for such a feature, yet it remains avoided in reviews...

    Do people really have 15 friends to gather around and play an iPhone/iPad game with?!?

  • Sanitymops

    I love the game and found that if you just play one or two of the cup games through on each of the first four types you will quickly unlock the rest of the game types.  Therefore, I don't find the necessity to unlock game modes to be a hindrance, but actually more of a reward.

    However, I think the biggest weakness of the game is it's lack of online multiplayer.  This game would absolutely shine if I could play with my buddies on game center.  It does have local hotseat multiplayer, but two people playing hockey or tennis is a little difficult on the tiny screen of a iPod or iPhone.

Flick Champions Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 3.5