Flyhunter Origins

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Flyhunter Origins Game Poster Image
Sidescrolling bug platformer oozes mild cartoonish violence.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Perseverance and encouragement are downplayed or sarcastically responded to by narrator. While these comments are made in good fun, the positive intent is lost.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The hero tries to make up for a mistake he commits by being responsible, honoring a contract with fellow insects.

Ease of Play

Easy to control, plenty of checkpoints. Challenge lies in collecting all items in a level. The game camera doesn't show enough of the level, leaving characters vulnerable to off-screen attacks.

Violence

Cartoon violence without bloodshed. Small bugs explode in a gooey green pop; main characters flash red and then respawn. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Flyhunter Origins is a downloadable side-scrolling, two-dimensional arcade-style game with lots of humor in the narrative. Some jokes are slapstick, some are more subtle, and some are sarcastically delivered. There's mild, cartoon-like violence without bloodshed, and bugs (the main enemies in the game) explode in a green pop. Gameplay is easy to control -- the challenge comes in both in collecting all items in a level and avoiding off-screen attacks from enemies, which could boost sense of frustration in players.

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What's it about?

FLYHUNTER ORIGINS tells the story of Zak, a lowly janitor who's part of a crew of adventurers and traders. While the flyhunters are in cryo-sleep, Zak gets a little wild and accidentally jettisons both the crew and their precious insect cargo. He needs to recover both before those who initiated the contract get upset. But it won't be easy, because there lots of bugs, frogs, robots, environmental barriers, and mechanical obstacles to overcome.

Is it any good?

Flyhunter Origins is delightful from the onset. The game has humor, and it's graphically pleasing. It was created by former Pixar members, which accounts for the appealing look and feel. At it's heart, this is a side-scrolling, arcade-style platform game, divided into plot points and levels associated with key story elements. Players navigate the levels or chase escaped flies through a maze, grabbing collectibles scattered through each stage along the way. At the end of each level, a score is displayed based on performance.

Levels can be short or long, depending on how much time the player puts into collecting everything that's been scattered around every stage. But the extra challenge comes in dealing with bugs, which are constantly a threat to Zak's adventure. There are several different weapons that can be used to dispatch smaller bugs, but larger bugs need to be avoided, which requires strategy and quick reflexes. Unfortunately, the game's camera doesn't reveal enough of a level to anticipate threats, so players may have to respawn a lot as they're trying to navigate each stage, which could be frustrating for younger players. Fortunately, the game does have numerous respawn points, so overall progress isn't completely lost when you restart. But replayability is limited: The levels aren't dynamically spawned, so you can memorize where items are on subsequent playthroughs. Bottom line? Flyhunter: Origins is an charming throwback to classic adventure games that provides plenty of eye candy and chuckles. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cartoon violence. What makes cartoon violence funny, and what makes it dangerous? Is cartoon violence more acceptable than realistic violence? Why, or why not?

  • Talk about platformers. Do you think side-scrolling games are still popular today, or is there a reason why games moved toward more open world, 3D experiences?

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For kids who love adventure

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