Friday, March 6, 2009

Tricky Kick


Tricky Kick is neither complex nor ambitious in concept. The mission it gives you is a simple one: play through six ten-level adventures by clearing each screen of certain objects. You can annihilate two identical objects by booting one into the other. The premise isn't complicated, but the way the game progresses is somewhat interesting. I know that difficulty is relative and all that, but it's quite common for a given level to seem much easier than the one that precedes it. It isn't unusual for me to be stumped by one puzzle for twenty minutes only to solve the subsequent one at once. There's no identifiable trend here when it comes to the element of challenge: the last stage of the haunted-house quest is super easy, while the final trial of the caveman's adventure is murder.

In any event, the challenging levels certainly outnumber the easy ones, which is fine by me. Some stages can seem really intimidating at first, as they host lots of "kick objects" scattered amid rebound bumpers and redirection arrows. However, trial and error leads to everything coming together, and the solutions to the puzzles sometimes seem ingenious. TK is an extremely well-designed game in this respect--though, in truth, the humorous ending "cinemas" are the high points of the whole affair.

Select a character to start off as. Each goes on a ten-stage adventure.

Oberon's quest takes him out into the wilderness.

These city buildings aren't much to look at, but the robots make for cool kick objects.

Taro's friends didn't think he had the bottle to enter the haunted house.

Boot around blood mammoths and other bug-eyed beasts.

Brave the "tough" side of town to reach the birthday party.

The feudal-Japan stages feature the game's catchiest music.

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