Flibble. It’s a word with many uses, and Zayne ‘Zed’ Black manages to cover pretty much all of them in his outlandish new release, Flibble, released for PC on Monday 13th August.
The Flibbles are in peril. Scattered across their planet by evil forces, they now hide in gigantic mazes where they cower from terrifying bat-things and ghost faces. Their only hope is a passing space-wanderer who they summon to their rescue by shooting him down with a space-missile.
Makes perfect sense.
Assisted by Clive, a rather eccentric ship AI, and an innovative breadcrumb system inspired slightly, (by which I mean completely) by the tale of Hansel and Gretel, it’s your task to wander the mazes and collect the flibbles. After successfully collecting a flibble, they will flibble in thanks. After a while of flibbles flibbling, you will inevitably find yourself flibbling back at them, so be careful who you play this around.
After rescuing a certain number of flibbles, a mystic portal will open allowing you to exit the maze. You will then inevitably be plunged into text-heavy cutscenes advancing the story, but fear not. In an ingenious move, Zayne acknowledges the historical problem of tedious cutscenes by allowing players to create explosions during exposition to create, I don’t know, explosition? I can’t help but wonder why such a simple idea never occurred to the likes of Hideo Kojima, where its inclusion in the Metal Gear Solid series would have improved things for me no end.
The music is catchy, but somewhat repetitive. The looping audio does begin to grate somewhat on the larger mazes, which resulted in me beginning to develop the rather curious habit of rescuing flibbles in time to the music. There are also a couple of spelling errors during the cut-scenes, which served only to remind me even more of the Atari 2600 era than infuriate me.
Boasting graphics straight out of a bygone age, Zayne has ignored Christoph Haartman’s claims that photo-realism is the only way forward for games. Zayne’s gone back, all the way back to when men were blocks, women were blocks and just about everything else on screen was made of blocks.
With ten levels of increasing complexity and a multitude of game modes, there’s enough to keep you going for an hour or so of retro-based fun. It’s a difficult game to recommend – if your definition of a good game is how many polygons are blooming at any given time, it’s probably not for you. If, however, you’re after something light with a sense of humour, the trailer below will show you what you’re in for.
Flibble is currently only available through Windows, although Zayne hasn’t entirely discounted the possibility of later ports to both Linux and Mac.
You can buy it now, DRM-free directly from its site
Verdict: On Target
Platforms Available – PC
Platform Reviewed – PC
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