Free Game Day: Kick the Critter

Free Game Day: Kick the Critter

It's Friday, and we know you're just going to play on the internet until it's time to leave work. Each week we'll be bringing you a free flash game to help the time pass!

Game: Kick the Critter Genre: Distance Made By: Simon "Lachhh" Lachance Play at: Armor Games Rating: 3 out of 5

I'm a huge fan of distance games. If you've never played the genre, you basically have an object and your goal is to hurl it as far as possible. In between hurls you upgrade your throwing mechanism, what you're throwing, or the environment you throw it through. It's pretty simple, and most games follow the formula rather unremarkably.

Kick the Critter is more ambitious than most, though. First of all, it's got kind of a cute story to it and a hell of a lot of personality. We go back to the time of the Great Flood, and Noah has gathered his menagerie. He's letting everyone on including alien grays and dragons, but when the critter asks for a seat Noah is all like "How 'Bout no LOL". Then she speeds off like the ark is a jet ski.

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So the Critter employs a giant mechanical foot to kick him towards the ark in hopes of escaping God's moist wrath.

It's nice to have a little more emotional investment than you usually get out of this sort of thing. Stuff like Hedgehog Launch mostly gets by through being cute. Kick the Critter takes a more in-your-face approach. It's got the playful malevolence of the Reincarnation series, and little touches like reducing a sticky blob's appearance as an obstacle by calling it "Less appearances of his stupid face" add to the sharper tone of the game.

On the other hand, this can work against you. For instance, the game punishes you for excessive height in your launch by having God hurl you back Earthwards in a fireball. This can be a real deal breaker on your momentum because you fall much faster than you would in another game. You quickly learn that the key in this particular distance contest is to maximize your horizontal thrust at expense of any vertical movement.

In fact, if you find yourself either bouncing too high or the victim of a vertical launch, your best bet is to hammer the dash button in hopes of hitting a pack of bats that will carry you sideways. Plus, it's just adorable when it happens.

Like most of these games it can get a little tedious as you slowly upgrade your gear for better distances. It's the sort of thing you play for ten minutes, save, and pick up a day or so later during downtime. On the other hand, you do get to headbutt treasure chests to death as they die screaming and bleeding, which is always good in a game. Plus, there are some really inventive minigames that are unlocked as you level up to keep things from getting stale. All in all, aside from a single annoying mechanic it's a top example of its genre.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.


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