Flewfie’s Adventure was always going to be a throwaway, family-friendly title that we slapped a 3/5 on, before wandering off to review something more substantial. But we’re clearly in a twisted, oddball timeline, as Flewfie’s Adventure is – somehow – an absolutely cracking little game. It’s a shoot-’em up for people who dislike shoot-’em ups, and it’s as deep as they come. It’s even got a Triple Triad card game attached, for Pete’s sake. 

We’re still reeling from how much we misjudged Flewfie’s Adventure. It’s not just us, right? Look at the screenshots: it had to be as deep as a puddle, right?

flewfies adventure review 1

The quality crept up on us. On first booting Flewfie’s Adventure, it came across as a bit twee, with an art style that was certainly colourful, but had a kind of cheap tackiness to it. It felt like Flewfie’s Adventure was a Smiggle backpack come to life, with big-eyed, chibi characters pulling puppy faces. Our daughters sidled over to us, screaming “aw it’s so coot!”, losing the ability to form normal, human sentences. 

The first levels weren’t exactly taxing, either. Surprisingly non-linear, but not exactly huge, they were kind of Metroidvania-esque, with areas locked off by pressure pads that required ball-like keys to be placed on them. Along the way were shadowy, hidden rooms stashing secrets. Guarding them were enemies, who would slowly toss out giant, avoidable missiles that you could swerve round to fire back, dealing large amounts of damage with the jab of the right analogue stick. 

We had that grumpy, ‘is this all there is to it?’ reaction in the opening levels. Levels were short and easy, and questions were already being raised about variety. But we were misled. Flewfie’s Adventure was just getting started, and these were just the tutorial levels to ensure everyone was on the same page. Because Flewfie’s Adventure has big plans. 

Let’s start with the levels. It’s not long before they start becoming sprawling, and you absolutely need the map, hidden in each level within a floating bubble. Paths diverge, and the game has fun, stashing plenty of keys throughout the level. The levels start to gain their own identity, with one being an obstacle course for the ball-like key to trundle through, and another being a large safe, requiring you to explore its depths to find the combination. Levels aren’t wildly different, but they do enough to have something akin to an identity. 

flewfies adventure review 2

The shooting is good, if not spectacular. If we had qualms with it, it’s that too much combat devolves to circling or strafing an enemy while firing, but that’s pretty much the nature of any twin-stick shooter. The screen becomes a frenzy of bullets in the shape of cupcakes and bats, with collision detection that is massively generous: as long as you avoid the very centre of the giant piece of ClipArt that’s being tossed at you, you’re golden. 

Enemies switch up at an absolutely ridiculous rate. You barely go two levels without the entire cast of enemies being changed up, and it allows the designers to have fun with what they’re throwing at you. Jellies, robots, inanimate objects and spoopy pumpkins all get the big-eyed treatment, and they have a reasonably diverse range of approaches. They have bounding bullets, big bullets, split bullets and more, and some will stay still while others move. It’s the minimum you’d expect, we suppose, but it’s done with a touch of panache.

Better are the bosses, and Flewfie’s Adventure wheels them out at a generous rate. Every few levels a boss encounter will occur, and they’re a diverse cast. Eagles, psychotic trees, mechs and witches all fill the screen and barrage you with multiple phases of attacks. They were never difficult – we didn’t die once on Normal mode, so you may want to lift things up to Hard if you’re an R-Type player – but they keep you on your toes, hunting for the pot of hearts in the corner of the arena to replenish your life if things go south. 

We’ve been keeping the best stuff back, though. Flewfie has a tractor beam that’s triggered by holding LT down. This can lift hearts into your UFO for regaining health, but they’re also used in the game’s puzzles. The designers clearly had fun with this mechanic, building puzzles that have you Screwball Scrambling balls through mazes to get them out the other side. You can be carrying balls from one end of the level to another to unlock doors, and there’s a madcap kind of fun in letting the ball go and watch it careen around the level. 

flewfies adventure review 3

There’s a simple but adorable progression system, as you find chests with costume and UFO parts in, and those parts boost your cat to ridiculously overpowered levels. Is there a better feeling than returning to early levels and chewing through enemies that once owned you? We’d say not.

Writing about each of these things independently, they don’t feel like they’d amount to much. But trust us: it’s in combination that Flewfie really flies. They are polished, and the relatively low difficulty levels mean that you can absolutely chew through the worlds that Flewfie’s Adventure has to offer. There are five worlds, plus a sneaky extra one that has the whiff of DLC, where you play as the game’s big bad, Uzzu.

And we’d be remiss to not mention the game’s version of Gwent, called Fyued (pronounced ‘Feud’). It’s completely, absolutely unnecessary, but we are so happy it’s there. Characters you save in the game’s levels offer a quick round of this Triple Triad-pilfering little game, as you put down characters in a row of three slots, and having a bigger number than a neighbouring card means flipping it to your colour. Win a game and one card gets offered up as an ante, so you can quickly build a deck that trundles over everyone else. Or, you can be like us, and lose all of your best cards and enter a doom-spiral, never to return. It’s up to you. 

What a splendid surprise Flewfie’s Adventure is. We expected it to be in and out like a furball, coughed up in the space of minutes and probably just as enjoyable. But instead it’s absolute catnip, and we played through its surprising depths with a big old grin on our faces. It’s slightly too easy, making it an uneasy recommendation for shoot-em up fans. It’s also sickly sweet. But if you treat it like the prolonged belly-rub that it is, you will get along just fine.

You can buy Flewfie’s Adventure from the Xbox Store

Flewfie’s Adventure was always going to be a throwaway, family-friendly title that we slapped a 3/5 on, before wandering off to review something more substantial. But we’re clearly in a twisted, oddball timeline, as Flewfie’s Adventure is - somehow - an absolutely cracking little game. It’s a shoot-’em up for people who dislike shoot-’em ups, and it’s as deep as they come. It’s even got a Triple Triad card game attached, for Pete’s sake.  We’re still reeling from how much we misjudged Flewfie’s Adventure. It’s not just us, right? Look at the screenshots: it had to be as deep as…

Pros:

  • Smooth, intuitive controls
  • Reasonably large levels with a love for secrets
  • Cool little tractor beam mechanic
  • It’s got a Gwent-like card game!

Cons:

  • Very much on the easy side
  • Twee graphics won’t be for everyone

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Valorware
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC, Switch
  • Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 1 June 2022
  • Launch price from - £7.99
TXH Score

4/5

Pros:

  • Smooth, intuitive controls
  • Reasonably large levels with a love for secrets
  • Cool little tractor beam mechanic
  • It’s got a Gwent-like card game!

Cons:

  • Very much on the easy side
  • Twee graphics won’t be for everyone

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Valorware
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC, Switch
  • Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 1 June 2022
  • Launch price from - £7.99

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