Flynn and Freckles is an adventure game developed by the small indie team at Rookie Hero Games. Upon starting Flynn and Freckles, it is obvious that an awful lot of time and effort has been put into the game considering Rookie Hero Games’ indie team is made up of only 4 people.
The cutscene at the beginning of the game gives us some valuable background context and allows us to understand who Flynn and Freckles are, and what our goal is. We play as Flynn, a young, unknown pirate, eager to make an impression on the people around him – to do this, he decides to go on an adventure to search for the myth that is Captain Freckles.
On this adventure is where we see just how beautiful the game really is. The colourful, vast landscape and crisp graphics make it a very enjoyable game to play. Not only the landscape, but the characters are very well designed too, and even the enemies are adorable. Just one of the enemies you encounter comes in the form of an angry leek (yes, the type of leeks you eat) which chase you down, and sometimes I found them so cute that I almost felt bad killing them!
The controls of the game are quite simple and easy to use. You have your standard controls of jump, attack, roll, move, and interact. To attack you use your sword, which is quite powerful and can kill most enemies within two hits. You can also cut grass with the sword, kind of like pulling out weeds on Animal Crossing. I found cutting the grass quite enjoyable and ended up unlocking an achievement for cutting 1000 pieces of grass (I completed the missions too, I swear). However, you could turn away and within 5 seconds the grass would have respawned which I found quite frustrating.
In terms of health, you have 5 lives before you must start the level again. Lives come in the form of bottles, and you can find them dotted across the map in wooden boxes that you can burst open with your sword. Being hit by an enemy loses you a life, as does jumping from a high place or falling into acid, but extra lives aren’t hard to find. Another part of the game is collecting coins. The coins direct you through the levels, but they can also contribute to buying things later in the game, apart from that, they aren’t very important. However, you can unlock achievements for reaching a certain number of coins, and you also lose coins each time you die.
The game overall has a pretty simple mission; however, it is the tasks during the game that can be difficult. Objectives aren’t always clear, which can cause confusion. Another thing that was quite frustrating is that there isn’t a minimap, but this could’ve been done on purpose by the developers to encourage exploration, and if I’m honest, the game did have me searching everywhere looking for objectives, and I might not have explored as much if I did have a minimap.
Now, the negatives. I have to say, there aren’t a lot of negative things I have to say about this game. But, one of them is the music. It begins to get very repetitive and boring after a short while, and I found myself turning the music right down for most of the game. Another thing is the brightness levels. At some points during the game, especially when I was playing during the day, the gameplay was too dark, and I found myself getting lost. This is a really simple problem that could have been solved with an option to change the brightness levels in the main menu but unfortunately, there wasn’t one. The last negative thing I have to say about the game is how difficult it was to jump. It seemed that at some points you had to be very accurate jumping on the platform or else you would fall into the acid; however, it was quite difficult to see where you are jumping when there isn’t a shadow underneath your feet telling you where you will land. At one point in the game I jumped onto a ramp, and for some reason, I was glitched through the map which caused me to lose a life. However, jumping gets a lot easier halfway through the game when you gain the ability to double jump.
Considering this is Rookie Hero Games first game, they have done an amazing job at making the game fun, enjoyable, and also very beautiful. Even though it is a game aimed at younger children, I definitely found it challenging at parts and also quite frustrating (which I guess is a good thing, right?). I will definitely be replaying this game and attempt to unlock more trophies and find more places that I hadn’t necessarily explored the first time. Hopefully, Flynn and Freckles is the first of many by Rookie Hero Games.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.