Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.
Flick Champions ($0.99 iPhone, $1.99 iPad) is more than just another sports game, in fact it is eight different sports games all in one. The difference is that rather than striving to make each game as close to the real thing as possible, the game provides a quick and fun way to challenge your friends and become a true Flick Champion on all of your touch devices.
The eight different sports can play either a quick exhibition match or a bracketed cup challenge. Within each game there are four degrees of difficulty to choose from: Rookie, Pro, Veteran or VS mode. The first three increase in difficulty while playing in single-player mode, while the fourth choice, VS, is where you literally go head to head against another opponent. Rather than being an online multiplayer experience, VS mode in Flick Champions has both players sharing the same device. Taking full advantage of Apple’s(s AAPL) implementation of multi-touch, each player can touch the screen at the same time. While some of the sports are played in real-time, others are played like a turn-based game, each side taking turns trying to score points against the other.
You view the playing field from a top-down, third-person perspective. Each game has its own style of gameplay. Soccer is one of the games that has more of a turn-by-turn game play style. Rather than moving your players all over the screen chasing a fast-moving soccer ball, each player occupies a different zone on the field and plays more like a stationary object. Once kicked, and when the ball eventually slows down, it finds its way to the nearest player on the field. With players occupying a specific position, it feels more like one of my all time favorite table games of foosball rather than a computerized version of a soccer match. As you kick the ball down the field, it pays to pass to your teammates closer to the goal rather than try to make a shot across the entire field.
The gameplay of soccer is in stark contrast of how both hockey and tennis are played. Each of these two games are played in real-time and feel more like a the arcade classic, Pong. With each experience you do end up chasing either a fast-moving puck or tennis ball all over the place. The biggest difference between these back and forth games lies in one of the other configurable options available to each sport. In hockey you can change the size of the puck while in tennis you can change the speed of the court. Each sport has its own configuration that you can use to fine tune how you play the game.
Basketball, on the other hand, plays more like a game of Horse. Each team is given a chance to make a single shot from a different position on the court. You can opt to turn on the extra shot mode, where you keep getting the ball after each successful shot. This “make it take it” option can be really fun when playing against a friend. Bowling, archery and golf have more of a “take your time, set up your shot, and aim carefully” style to them. Golf in particular has its own challenges as it takes on more of a putt-putt feel to it as you must make bank shots and overcome obstacles that stand in your way on the green. These three games in particular will remind you more of the playful Nintendo Wii Sports than the more realistic style of Electronic Arts’ Madden Football.
The most complex sports game of the eight is definitely football. With football you start each down by selecting a formation for your team to line up in. This is true whether you are playing offense or defense. Then the opposing team chooses their formation. Each player on the field then charges and pushes against each other. The quarterback waits patiently for an opportunity to pass by sliding your finger around the field and letting go to trow the ball downfield. Sometimes you get lucky and a player breaks away from the pack and scores a touchdown. Other times your pass is either intercepted or incomplete.
The game does initially start out with many of the sports and gameplay options locked. You unlock additional sports and unique gameplay options by earning experience points. If you like, you can elect to unlock all of the games and optional content through an in-app purchase. And if you are looking to explore even more sports that play like Flick Champions, you can check out two additional titles in the series, Flick Champions Winter Sports and Flick Champions World Edition. Flick Champions is a fun game to play on your own and one you can easily carry with you for the times when you want to play a quick and competitive game with friends.