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Review: Fleck

September 21, 2008
Overview Navigate your way through a shifting maze of toxic mushrooms and poisoned potion in this unique, creative and time-killing puzzle game. Fleck is addictive, entertaining and flexible, offering a variety of challenges and increasing in difficulty as you progress.


The object of the game is simple: move from one corner of a game board to the other without getting killed along the way. But Fleck becomes more challenging in that it forces users to pay attention to an advancing field of deadly objects before making a move. There are two sets of objects: purple drops of poison move downward from the top of the screen, while infected mushrooms slide from right to left. The important thing to keep in mind is that nothing moves until you decide which direction you’d like Fleck to go. After swiping a finger along the screen—from left to right, for example—Fleck will move that way, while all of the objects on the board move simultaneously.

If Fleck lands in a space that was previously occupied by a deadly object, but is now empty, he will live to dodge mushrooms another day. If he lands in a space that may have been empty before, but has now been engulfed by what looks to be a drop of purple rain (not a Prince reference) your cuddly elf will die. And did we mention the magic mushrooms? Yes, noxious liquids and mushrooms aren’t the only objects that appear. There are also special mushrooms and drops of blue elixir that can each give Fleck temporary immunity, a point bonus, or another special ability. As users progress through levels, the game increases in difficulty by expanding the size of the board and adding to the number and density of objects. Along with the ability to adjust the game difficulty (more on this later), gamers can put limits on the amount of time or number of moves allowed per round.


After some initial gameplay confusion (when I assumed that one set of items had to be safe and subsequently died upon every mushroom collision) I sought out the help option for an explanation of the game. While this might usually be annoying, Fleck wasn’t like other games that I had previously played (a good thing!) and after some simple rule clarifications, the game made perfect sense and I was up and running in seconds (and becoming increasingly addicted along the way). Fleck is a very creative puzzle game that is both fun and challenging. It offers a deep set of levels and a range of options for adding complexity and changing the dynamics of the game. Maybe you want to limit the amount of moves you can make, or challenge yourself to make quick decisions by implementing a time limit, or both. Fleck has that satisfying amount of flexibility.

At the same time, the app’s difficulty setting doesn’t seem to function. The option is there, and it appears that the developers wanted to allow an adjustable setting, but there doesn’t seem to be a way of changing it. Also, a major problem seems to be that Fleck is a memory hog. It has a tendency to crash or to flash a “low memory” message that forces users to exit the program. While these issues are usually solved by restarting the iPhone, resetting its memory, it’s an annoying flaw that should be fixed. Fleck doesn’t seem to operate at an amazingly high graphical level, nor does it appear to involve the processing demands of many of the more complex iPhone apps (the activity seems no more demanding than Sudoku or chess) so this memory issue seems completely unwarranted.


Fleck is a unique puzzle game that is both entertaining and addictive. It may be slightly overpriced for being such a simple game and it does have some stability issues, but it looks good and functions well enough to be a great time-killing challenge.

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