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Subject: A Very Quick Review of Flick 'Em Up rss

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Apollo Melo
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I play a lot of board games. That's hardly news for a site like this, right? Well, I play a lot of games solo, with the exception of one player who loves to join given almost any opportunity: My son. My son, age 10, simply loves to play games and when he saw Flick 'em Up in action, he couldn't wait. And honestly? Neither could I. It looked like silly, crazy fun; shooting little wooden discs at each other's meeples on our coffee table, which would be converted into an old west set. We did some trading and wound up with a copy of the game. My thoughts?

It could have been better. In fact, it should have been better. Flick 'em Up is a wonderful idea delivered in a poorly executed package. "Fun" was sacrificed to the concept of "rules". What seems like such a simple idea is bogged down by tiny details that you have to get right. The designers obviously did their best, but I found playing it to be a pain.

Here's how you THINK the game goes: Flick, knock piece over, next turn. Right? Wrong. Here's how it ACTUALLY works:
Carefully and slowly position piece... Flick... pick up disc, carefully position the disc... Flick... Miss. Hold the Meeple steady while you pull his hat off and flip it over. Find the one movement disc provided and give it to the other player. Pick up Meeple and make sure movement disc is exactly where he was... Flick... Find movement disc off the floor. Carefully posi.... wait, where the hell was my guy? Right, right there. Carefully position... Flick... bump into scenery. Fix scenery. Put meeple back where you got him and hold him steady while you flip his hat...

In the end, you spend much of your time just trying to flip hats or properly position discs. The flicking action, which sounds good on paper at least, takes up such a small percentage of the time playing the game so as to become meaningless. Even something like a successful shot involves handling tiny little heart chits that are a pain to keep stacked neatly by their character. Flick 'em Up is a brave attempt at doing something fun and zany, but it comes off as micromanagement of the worst sort. The scenarios aren't very compelling, and even the round timer is just too short. Most games played end up timing out and just going to the backup victory condition. And don't get me STARTED on trying to get more than two players involved. The amount of downtime at anything between three or four players is simply astounding. In any game of Flick 'em Up, I'd say I spent roughly four minutes actually having fun playing a dexterity game, and the rest of the time dealing with details like flipping hats, moving the round clock, or stacking heart chits.

I can't recommend this game. Maybe there are some people who would love the way it works, maybe this is the dexterity game of their dreams, but for me it's just too much crammed into too little. There's a reason that dexterity games have traditionally been kept very simple, and now I know why. It turns out that all the extra stuff that Flick 'em Up brings to the table just gets in the way of a good time.
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Christian Nold
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Thanks very much for the review! Extremely clear and cut through all the fluff. Made me finally decide not to buy thanks!
 
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Dan Conley
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Finally got to play two games of it with our two boys and one of the wives. We had an absolute blast with it! I agree that the hat flipping is a pain (mostly because we'd forget to do it) and the tracking hit points with chits is tough to keep straight. But once we got past the AWFUL rulebook and looked up a few things on BGG (when cowboys stand up, whose turn is it, etc.), we had lots of laughs with it.

I'm sure we could have micromanaged the fun right out of it. We play a bit fast and loose with things like trying to get the figure back to its exact spot. The juice ain't worth the squeeze. We got them close enough and just played. It was fun!
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Carlos F.
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I use this instead of flipping the hats...
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Silver Bowen
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yosemite wrote:
I'm sure we could have micromanaged the fun right out of it. We play a bit fast and loose with things like trying to get the figure back to its exact spot. The juice ain't worth the squeeze. We got them close enough and just played. It was fun!


This. If you play this game "seriously/carefully", it won't be much fun.
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Apollo Melo
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To be fair - I've reviewed the game as played in the rules. We picked up the game without any anticipation of it being "serious", but the fidgety nature of hat flipping, chit tracking, and round keeping seriously got in the way. Everything from fixing scenery knocked out of place to positioning your firing discs without moving your person is time consuming, and is proscribed in the rules.

You could simply ignore many of these things and fire away, sure. But then you're not playing Flick 'em Up, you're playing with Flick 'em Up.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing! But for me, even when I tried to ignore many of the things I'm told to do, the game was just too slow for what it is - a silly dexterity game. I feel like they took the "silly" right out of it. The game is painted as zany and light, but the rules and mechanics feel straight out of the the old XCOM PC game in execution.
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Dan Conley
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And to clarify, we played well within the rules as written. I do need to clarify the displaced scenery thing. Seems to me that the book states at one point that moved scenery stays where it is, so that's how we played.

My point was that we didn't worry if the guy moved a tiny bit when you fired or if the disc was a shade further from the cowboy before you fired. Very small allowances were made on both sides in the interest of getting on with the game and having fun.

Hat flips were only annoying when we forgot to do it.

Our only actual question out of our two games had to do with positioning your cowboy after you knock him over with your finger when attempting to shoot. That seemed to happen pretty regularly. We just stood them up as close to the original spot as possible and moved on.

We have played several games over the years with house rules: starting characters in Talisman with increased strength and craft to shorten the game, for example. (FFG now includes this as an option in their rulebook. It was never mentioned in previous versions.) Does this mean we weren't actually playing Talisman all that time, but playing WITH it? If so, interesting perspective.

I'm really not trying to pick a fight or be a tool about this. Really. Not everyone has to like what I like, after all. Flick 'Em Up was a hit for us, but it's not for everyone. Just sorry you didn't enjoy it more.
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