Developed by Abstraction Games, Kick & Fennick is a cute physics-based platformer that borrows the ‘launching’ physics of Angry Birds, while somehow retaining its identity as a competent platformer.
While simple, the story tells of Kick, a young boy on a mission to help a flying robot named Fennick find his missing energy core. Problem is, this energy core went missing inside Core Tower after a major disaster, causing everything inside to either collapse or split in half. Equipped with a very large pulse rifle, Kick and Fennick must rocket-jump their way up towers, through enemy infested rooms, and to adjacent buildings that can’t be reached by conventional means.
The game includes a whopping forty-five levels that ramp up in difficultly, as the player uses the provided pulse canon to avoid electrical traps; battle flying, robotic drones; and break through crumbling walls to access different sections of each level. Relying on Angry Birds-like physics, the player must aim Kick’s pulse cannon towards the grown using the Right Analog stick to propel themselves to platforms.
What makes this feature unique is the bullet time mechanics that ensue when jumping. When the pulse canon is re-positioned during a jump, the game speed will slow down. This provides just enough time for the player to re-position the jump marker — which appears as a dotted line — at the location they are trying to reach.
The majority of Kick & Fennick’s gameplay is based on puzzles that involve the jumping mechanic. Early levels have the player double-jumping up towers and passing through rooms filled with debris, while the later levels contain traps that can hinder Kick’s progression. As the game progresses, new environmental mechanics such as bounce pads, treadmills and portals are added.
Despite the game’s daunting platformer mechanics, Kick never technically dies when he comes in contact with an enemy or trap. Instead of the game ending like most platformers, the player is returned to the most recent point in the level before they encountered the obstacle. This mechanic works well until Kick loses all of his health. When this happens, the player is sent to the beginning of the level, and any progress that was made will be lost. Sadly, this is Kick & Fennick’s Achilles heel.
As far as games are concerned, Kick & Fennick is a competent platformer that doesn’t always take itself seriously. And while its gameplay can be challenging (and even frustrating) at times, it’s accessible to gamers of all ages and skill levels; a concept that isn’t always present in today’s games.
Platform: Wii U
Developer: Jaywalkers Interactive / Abstraction Games B.V.
Publisher: Abstraction Games
ESRB: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Kick & Fennick Official Website: http://jaywalkersinteractive.com/kick-fennick/
|Bright, colorful 3D graphics.|
|Average sound effects and music.|
|The physics-based, puzzle-style gameplay is challenging, fun and unique.|
|Kick & Fennick is a competent platformer that doesn't always take itself seriously|