Flick ‘Em Up Review

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Posted August 31, 2015 by Crystal Pisano in Nerdy Bits

Designer: Gaëtan Beaujannot & Jean Yves Monpertuis

Publisher: Pretzel Games

Number of Players: 2-10

Duration: 30 min

 

 

Overview

In this dexterity game you and your friends form two teams and battle it out in the wild, wild west as the lawmen against the notorious outlaws of the Cooper Clan. You use skill and strategy to outwit and defeat your opponents in one of 10 scenarios in this western adventure that fits on the top of your table.

The wild, wild west right on top of your table

 Gameplay

Like many other dexterity games where movement is involved, the primary skill you need to play Flick ‘Em Up is flicking. You flick a wooden disc to move your team’s cowboys and you flick little grey discs to shoot bullets. Your goal will change based on what scenario you choose to play and which team you are on. In some scenarios, you’ll simply be in the middle of a good guys versus bad guys shootout, in others you’ll be attempting to retrieve captured people or pieces of evidence.

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A street-level view of all the flicking action

Scenarios range from incredibly simple to slightly complex, the latter requiring you to enter buildings, collect items and move about more strategically. You can even pick up additional items such as a second pistol (every cowboy starts with one), a rifle (which gives you the ability to aim more accurately), extra health, or dynamite which can damage more than one cowboy at a time.

Cowboys generally start with three health apiece and lose one health each time they are shot. If they are shot three times, they die and are eliminated from the scenario.

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Each character has a name, along with his health and any items he has collected.

Time and turns are managed in clear and easy to follow ways in this game. One of the buildings has a large clock on it. It is used to determine the number of turns remaining. Each scenario will instruct you where to start the clock and every turn is an “hour”. The numbers on the clock are colored in alternating red and blue which correspond with the little cardboard hats the cowboys wear that are red on one side and blue on the other.

When the clock is on a red number, everyone with a red hat gets a turn. Each cowboy gets to perform two actions during their turn such as movement, shooting, or picking up an item. Once a cowboy has completed his two actions, his hat is flipped over to the blue side. Once everyone’s hats are blue, the clock is moved ahead an hour and the next turn begins. Generally, when the clock strikes Midnight, the game will end and one team will be determined the winner based on their progress according to the scenario book. The scenarios have conditions that will often end the game before Midnight as well such as a number of a team’s members dying. 

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I seriously can’t get over how awesome it looks when everything is set up

Thoughts

I’ve been expanding my collection of dexterity games throughout 2015 and I have to say, this is absolutely my new favorite. The western theme is unique to my game collection and all the components are just as cute and awesome as I could have ever hoped for.

This game definitely catches the eyes of anyone around when it is set up. The box is a beautiful wooden box with a sliding lid and a lot of the components are also made of wood. The whole thing is quite beautiful to see and explains the $70 MSRP (although you can find this game online for $50-60 fairly easily when it is stock.

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The box with all the components

I’ve played through three of the 10 scenarios that come with the base game and found each one to be unique and exciting in how it utilizes different items and character abilities. The scenario book has great pictures illustrating how to set up the game’s components and where to place specific items and cowboys at the beginning of each scenario so set-up was a complete breeze. It also explains any additional rules that are specific to the scenario you’ve chosen such as duels, dynamite, or giving items to another character.

The first scenario is a great way to introduce yourself to the game. Good guys versus bad guys in a straight-up shootout. First team to have three of five members die loses. This was a great way to practice our bullet flicking skills as well as basic movement.

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Scenario #1, Gunfight at Waldon Lake

I’ve also played scenario five, which had the outlaws running into town and poisoning barrels of water in an effort to weaken the townsfolk. The lawmen are trying to stop the outlaws and purify any water that has already been poisoned.

The last scenario I played (so far) was number nine. In this scenario, the outlaws are trying to rescue their patriarch from the gallows, where he is about to be hung. The lawmen are trying to stop the outlaws from interfering to ensure that the patriarch is hung as punishment for his life of crime.

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Scenario #9, Justice vs Vengeance

The book suggests you play through all 10 scenarios in order, but it doesn’t seem to be entirely necessary. Some of the specialty rules (like duels) are found in the rules for other scenarios, but I never had trouble looking up information when I needed to.

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This town ain’t big enough for the two of us

The scenarios also have tons of replay-ability because each flick is going to be a little different and your strategy will always need to adjust to what you and your opponents are doing. The game also has a system in place to help adjust handicaps when a less experienced player is playing against someone who knows the game well.

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Here’s a great shot of me pretending I can flick like an expert!

The box says this game is for 2 – 10 players and while I haven’t played with more than four, from my perspective, less is more. With fewer people controlling each team, there is less downtime and you get to do more things. If you had the full complement of 10 people playing, each player would control only one cowboy and if their cowboy died, they’d be left with nothing to do. I’m not saying this wouldn’t be fun with 10, I just think it is more engaging with less players. This game is also family friendly. I haven’t played it with kids but I can totally see families having a blast with this game.

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The outlaws have taken the patriarch! After them!

One of the most exciting things (for me at least) is the fact that there is already an expansion coming for this game that is going to be released at Spiel Essen. The expansion is called “Stallion Canyon” and adds little wooden horses that your cowboys can tame and then ride, ramps that you can shoot up to knock cowboys off horses, and five additional scenarios.

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Photo from Pretzel Games

I’ll be picking up the expansion soon after it is released and can’t wait to see how the horses add to the gameplay. If you like dexterity games or games with a lot of story and heart, I highly recommend that you play and/or purchase this game. Everyone I’ve played it with has loved it, even if flicking discs wasn’t always as easy as it looked! There were many times where you placed your hand just right, slid your finger along the table and misjudged your strength and the disc would only slide forward a tiny bit. This caused a lot of laughter amongst the group every time it happened but it never ruined our fun.

Because of the stellar components, wide variety of scenarios, and tons of fun I’ve had every time I’ve played this game, I’m rating it 80 out of 100.

Have you played Flick Em Up? What did you think of it? Comment below and tell me your thoughts on this game and on its upcoming expansion.

 


About the Author

Crystal Pisano