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Subject: This Toy is Just Right for the 2-10 of Us! rss

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John Hansel
United States
Spencer
IA
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Introduction:

I haven't played a game of this yet where someone didn't spout off the line "This town ain't big enough for the two of us." I know I've said it, mainly during duels, and like this game it hasn't worn out it's welcome.

The title of this review is a bit facetious. I have seen it mentioned more than once on BGG that this game is a toy. For one reason or another, labeling/defining things appropriately is a big deal for me. I'm not necessarily a pedant, but there is a clear difference between a game and a toy.

A toy is not bound by a set of rules. Kids play with toys openly and do with them what they wish. There is no end result when playing with a toy and no rules.

A game on the other hand is bound by a set of rules that players must follow. The rules play are part of the design and I would argue the biggest part of the design. Theme is integral for some, art for others, but I would think a good set of rules/mechanics would be important for all.

The Game, the Theme, and the Conclusion

Flick Em' Up! is a dexterity/party style game. I own four other dexterity games; Rampage (Terror in Meeple City), Sorry Sliders, Coconuts, and Rhino Hero. My dexterity games, while fun, probably get played the least.

I can see Flick Em' Up! getting played a lot more than the other dexterity games I own. I think it's because the theme is so rich. It is my only dexterity game where I feel how I am supposed to feel. I truly feel like I'm in the old west bullying my opponents. You might be wondering, "What about Rampage?"

While playing Rampage, I don't feel like a monster destroying the city and I can't place my fingers (literally) on why that is. It might be because the actions feel a bit clunky. Dropping your monster on a building doesn't quite feel like I'm a monster jumping on a building and blowing on buildings is just awkward; but when I shoot an opponent in Flick Em' Up! it feels so satisfying.

In Flick Em' Up! you are either a lawman protecting the town or an outlaw wreaking havoc on the town based on a scenario. There are a number of scenarios included in the game. The scenarios get more complex (and more fun) as you get deeper into the scenario book. I particularly like duels and kicking my opponent out of the building after winning.

The components and production are probably the best I have ever seen. There isn't any cheap plastic. The only issue would be with the clock. As you adjust the time, the clock tightens up and needs to be twisted back. A minor slip up in an immaculately planned out game.

The Rule Book

Here is where the game fails a bit. The rule book misses some details and needs to expand on some rules. The bit about the initiative token is confusing. When having a duel, how far away should you be? Yeah, I can decide but I am not a play tester. I leave it up to the designers and play testers to figure out the best distance for duels.

I alluded to it early but this is not a toy, it is a game. The rules need to be stated clearly. I love the scenarios, but the rule book leaves a bit to be desired.

The game is still fun and pretty intuitive after a few plays. The rules problem goes away as you play the game more. Don't get me wrong, I love the game. I'm not a theme guy, but it was fun to hold a beer in one hand while stealing money and bringing it back to my base (the Saloon, scenario 3).

I can't recommend the game (not toy) enough. In the future (reprints) maybe the designers could clear up some of the rules. I don't think I'm alone on this. While there are often rules questions for games, the rules forum for Flick Em' Up is growing every day.
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1 Lucky Texan
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Arlington
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it is a bit of a 'sandbox' game - just play it however you feel.

but, I have read in one thread that the designers have an FAQ coming soon.
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A. B. West
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Beech Grove
Indiana
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Why aren't you PLAYING a game?
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I don't think the definition of toy and game is so clear. I classify Flick 'em Up as more toy than game, but only because that's how it makes me feel when playing. It harkens back to my days as a kid when my brother and I shot plastic missiles from a spring-loaded bazooka at little green army men. Was that a game? Sort of - in that you won or lost based on last man standing. But it was surely a toy too. Flick 'em Up evokes the same feeling. That's fantastic by the way - I love it!
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Gustavo Alves
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You made a game out of a toy by adding rules. The rules didn't came with the army man, this is why it is sold as a toy.

If something is sold as a boardgame, it is expected that there are rules that make it a boardgame. The definition is clear to me.

Now, Flick'em up does have rules, and it is an awesome game with those rules, but it does need a FAQ.
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Aaron Cool
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Thanks for the review. Personally I like your distinction between a game and a toy. It seems to me a reasonable way of making a distinction. That being said, rules are just rules and need to work for the group that is playing. If your group members are particularly good at flicking with accuracy, a defined distance for duels, as created by the designer, may not be good for your usage and may make the game boring, if played as designed. With something like that, it seems reasonable to leave the rule vague. (Note: I have not yet read the rules as I haven't purchased the game yet. Though I plan to in part based on this review.) Thanks again for the review.
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