My wife and I played a two player game of Flick ’em Up by Pretzel Games after the kids went to bed tonight. Our hope was to play with the kids tomorrow, but with an 8+ age recommendation, we wanted to try it out first.
Let’s talk about our experience:
I sat down with the game, opened it up and punched out the buildings and the tokens. These are some of the best components I’ve seen. The boards punched easily, with no tearing of the pieces, or having to use extra force to get them out. Beautiful wooden components, barrels, tumbleweeds, cowboys, fence boards, and cowboy meeples. It took me about 20 minutes to read the rule book and the first (of ten) scenarios. While I was setting up the first scenario, I explained the game to my wife, which took very little time.
I was the Outlaws – the Cooper Clan, while Cortnie played the Lawmen. In the first game, each side’s goal is to eliminate three cowboys from the opposing team. Each player takes turns activating a cowboy and either moves or shoots. You move your cowboy by flicking a move disk to where you want to move. If you hit anything with the disk, your move fails and you stay where you are. Shooting is similar, but with smaller disks. You must knock your target over on first contact. If you hit something before your enemy you miss, and if you hit an ally, it’s treat like a hit 😦
There are additional rules like being able to move in and out of buildings, take/leave/exchange an item, throw dynamite, poison/purify water, dueling, and more, but these are not used in the first game. After reading through all the scenarios, the game it’s easy to see the game evolves and has depth in strategy. The only problem is that the first scenario feels more like a tutorial, with very basic rules and it comes down to who can shoot the best. This is where it fell apart for Cortnie. She was a crazed flicker, sometimes getting two to three inches between the table and her shot. Sometimes she’d hit my cowboy, while aiming for one on the other side of the town. By the end of the game, she was borderline angry, just because she had an expectation of skill, that she did not reach. I think the scenario is necessary because you need practice flicking those disks before trying to add other actions, but it’s going to be hard for me to get this to the table again if the next scenario goes the way the first one did. The next game will offer layers of strategy, with buildings and duels.
By the end of the game, I had defeated three of her lawmen, with the loss of only one of mine.
As far as the kids playing…. I think there is too much to knock over while trying get in position to flick for my four and six year old to successfully play. I think instead they will have a blast if I set up the town and let them flick disks without the constraints of a win/lose condition.
Even though my wife has not yet warmed to this game, I think with the opportunity to play with my gaming group, I will certainly keep this one around for a long time and am considering the expansion.
Expect a follow up on this after we get another play in.