I’ve always had a slight fascination with stop motion animation. The dedication and time it takes to create even the shortest cinematic event, to the instant affinity it makes you feel towards the work simply because of its almost indie format.
Might and Delight are a game developer who clearly know exactly what I’m talking about, choosing to create a champ entirely in this style. Enter ‘The Blue Flamingo’a game which looks simply stunning. Each hand crafted model coming to life on screen with every detail thought of an animated, from moving pieces in the background to the glowing lights that illuminate buildings at night time. Theres a real sense of teamwork and craftsmanship involved.
There’s a beautiful jazz soundtrack layered over every level, which works extremely well, not to mention it being good news to hear a full acoustic sound treatment being used as opposed to the overly popularised dubstep and EDM of usual efforts.
This is all great stuff, making the pitfalls of the actual game itself somewhat sad to see. The main problem with The Blue Flamingo is how it betrays the very genre its representing by slowing things down to a grind. When I think of champ games, I imagine blistering speeds and crippling difficulty, often flying on the seat of my pants, always a mere millisecond from death. The Blue Flamingo is slow, strolling across each map which allows you to fully absorb the experience but it never picks up from this glacial pace, betraying its own initial goals.
Maps do look great but the games UI stumbles, lessening the impact of the games overall asethetic. While flying through night and day on repeat is a nice experience, enemies offer little to no variation, meaning after a brief period playing you’ll pretty much have seen all that there is to see. You wont find any real bosses at all to challenge you, instead given the chance to sharpen your skills with a brief target practice session at the end of each level. The breezy, fish in a barrel feel to the games difficulty is only exacerbated by the upgrades on offer after each mission, meaning you spend all of your game time feeling unstoppable.
Overall The Blue Flamingo is a game I felt extremely torn about while playing. I love how it looks and sounds as well as the art it stands for but once boiled down to an actual game, the idea and dreamy concept falls short of what it should. The Blue Flamingo is far too simple with a walk in the park feel for a genre that should be all about fighting tooth and nail to survive. It’s great to look at and listen to, but a bit too dull to play making this more of a game to spend a few brief moments on, rather than sink hours into.
MLG Rating: 6/10 Format: PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of The Blue Flamingo by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 1 week on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.