Flock is the type of game that manages to pull you in with its cute visuals, subtle humor, and clever ideas. The problem is that it fails to keep your attention for more than a short while, as the game is lacking in one major department: variety. The biggest disappointment with this game is that it had serious potential, but unfortunately it just didn’t become the great game it could’ve been had some better design decisions been made throughout the development process.
Flock (officially FLOCK!) is a simple puzzle game that has you control a flying saucer as you attempt to herd livestock into the mothership, eloquently titled the Mother Flocker. What should’ve been a simple goal turns out to be extraordinarily frustrating work. Once you get over the fact that the game makes absolutely no sense - like why the animals are on islands or hidden throughout mazes - the game becomes funů at least for the first ten or so levels. This game gets hard. Each level or two a new puzzle is introduced, and as you progress through the levels more puzzles are introduced, and soon you’ll have to know how to solve several different puzzles you’ve learned to get through a single level.
This wouldn’t be such a problem if the UFO didn’t control like a drunkenů cow (sorry, that was the first thing that came to mind). The controls don’t feel solid, and that makes for some extremely difficult maneuvering made all the more difficult with the added pressure of completing the level in time. Yep, that’s right, you are timed. There isn’t a time limit but to get a gold star you really have to move fast, and the sluggish controls of the UFO make that a frustrating task.
All that aside, Flock is a gorgeous game with a very unique art style that definitely sets it apart from most other arcade games. The patchwork design of the levels matched with the charming animal animations gives it a great look. The sound effects are great too and it’s obvious a good amount of work was done to make sure this game looked and sounded great.
There’s also a lot to do in this game. There are 50 levels for you to play through, each getting progressively more difficult with added puzzles and gameplay mechanics. However, if you don’t like the first couple levels then there’s a good chance you won’t like the rest. When you complete a level you’re rewarded with a set piece that can be used to create your own custom levels, and once you’ve finished the story mode you can play on the levels you created with a friend online.
This game is good. It had a lot of potential and succeeded on a few fronts. The $15 asking price might seem a bit steep at first but if you enjoyed the demo then you’ll definitely like this game, and there’s plenty of content to make the game worth its value. This game isn’t for everyone, some might see the gameplay as work, but if you’re looking for a unique puzzle game then Flock might just be the game for you.