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Duck & Cover

// reviews by Jeff

Atakachik Game

Today, I got up, had a shower, and made myself a delicious green tea with blackberry honey. It was wonderful on an early weekend morning when I didn't have to head out to work and could truly relax. Then I played Atakachik Game, and my day was shot.

Atakachik Game, thankfully, doesn't involve any sexism against women, but it does involve some sort of -ism against baby chickens. After a terrifying story about how someone has been lost in the woods, unable to escape, we're thrown right into the game. That's where things get ugly, literally. Amongst a field surrounded by lush greenery, there's a man in the background (or at least, I think it's a man) dressed in his Sunday collared shirt and Triscuit-woven sweater with a time-worn dirty plastic baby head in place of his real one. I don't even think I need to continue with this. And he's releasing chicks, one by one, letting them race toward the screen. Your goal is to "atak" them by throwing hearts to make them explode. It's just a steady stream of chicks, and the longer you last, the faster that man-baby-man will send them out. Also roaming the plains are various other animals like pigs and cheetahs; hitting them will temporarily disable your offenses, allowing chicks to come full force into you and cause damage to your health bar.

And that's the game. Atakachik Game just keeps speeding up until you physically can't handle all the bombardment of yellow cuteness. Once you lose, that man-baby-baby-man in the distance will groan in the deepest voice humanly possible, and it's all the more frightening. You don't want to hear that. So you don't want to lose. Or you don't want to play. The only real selling point of this game (which is free anyway) is the graphical style, where all the chicks, animals, and hearts you shoot resemble clay pieces. It's actually very nice on the eyes, as clay usually is, unless it's IN the eyes. Otherwise, it's just a random game I found on the Internet where you can shoot intermingling farm and jungle animals with your presumed love.

...it wasn't until about 10 hours after I posted this that I realized that chicks are not ducks. Well, I sure failed.

Should you play this?

You can play this game by clicking here.


Flakboy

Meet Flakboy. He takes a lot of flak. He's a blue alien fellow, perhaps one who's been out of work since his appearances in a few Eiffel 65 videos. And he's here to take all the punishment you can possibly dole out on a limited budget. Armed with a specific amount of money, you get a variety of weapons to place around a rubber room: mines, wall turrets, spikes that jet out of the walls... You know, the kind of thing you'd find at your friendly neighbourhood market. You also have a damage goal, whereby causing enough damage via all those wonderful, wonderful weapons you bought will let you move on to the next level.

And it IS tough. You have to place everything in just the right spot so that Flakboy enters a sequence where he takes enough damage. Maybe he'll walk over a landmine and fly off in a direction where your turrets won't hit him. If you're a turret enthusiast (as most people shouldn't be), then this may put a big dent (or bullethole, rather) in your plans.

Wait... wasn't this article supposed to be duck-themed? Well, you're right. In order to get our fourth member of the Blue Man Group shuffling, you have to place a pod containing a rubber duck beside him. He'll open it up, get freaked out, and then move in the opposite direction. Then you can set off all your terrible traps, gruesome gadgets, and... uh... well, I ran short of puns.

Atrocious armaments. There, that's the last one.

It's a far more intricate game than it lets on with a bad name like Flakboy. I thought it might just be a skeevy knockoff of the Hellboy franchise but with higher amounts of arguing or army jackets. I'm sure there are plenty of gamers out there who love torturing defenseless digital dolls and also have stereotypical moths flying out of their wallets. But considering how difficult the first level alone was (took me at least 15 tries to get that Flakboy to suffer enough), I'm not even sure I would have the patience to endure many more stages of this shallow type of gameplay.

Should you play this?

You can play this game by clicking here.


Duck: Think Outside The Flock

Alright, so we've seen how much violence can be incurred when mallards are involved. There have been reports of shootings, stabbings, and detonations, all in the name of Duck. But now it's time for something different. It's time for a thinking man's game, and dagnabbit, I'm going to take a break from my usual habits of possessing a somnolent mind and start using my head brain for once! It's time for Duck: Think Outside The Flock!

Basically, it's a set of 25 levels that work to pique your mind a little bit by not showing you exactly how to solve the problem presented to you. Some are very simple. You have a duck and some white balls floating in the water. Direct the duck to pick them up, and you're done. That's simple. Other levels involve you figuring out which duck out of the bunch doesn't belong, which one is different. Or you may have to commit to one of those irritating puzzles where you have to flip all the ducks forward, but by doing so, adjacent ducks flip the other way. The majority of puzzles don't require much thought, to be honest — just perseverance and the pursuit of happiness.

Occasionally, they'll pull a fast one on you, but not often. There are a couple of stages where you have to direct a duck to pick up more white balls, but the controls are reversed (or, worse yet for my brain, reversed only on the X-axis but not the Y-axis). Or you may have to move larger ducks to find smaller ones hidden underneath. What were they doing there, you ask? It's best not to wonder much about these things.

Hmmm... actually, this game was pretty easy. Either that, or I'm a FREAKIN' FLASH GENIUS. Maybe the classical music in the background soothed me and awakened my natural state of intellectual excellence. But I still had a good time, and I got to play with ducks.

Should you play this?

You can play this game by clicking here.


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