There is one massive flaw in every dexterity game I've played, it is that my seven-year-old son always beats me at them. From Ice Cool to Coconuts. Even if a co-op like Flip Ships, I depend on the lad to see us through to the win. Doesn't stop my enjoyment mind you, so Flick 'em Up with it's western theme and dexterity goodness is a shoe in for me. Sadly it hasn't improved my winning percentage...
Flick 'em Up
The deluxe wooden edition of Flick 'em Up is a bit of a beast. Contained with in a wooden box with a slidey top its one of those games that can be a little bit of a challenge to get back in that box. You will certainly have to dismantle the cardboard buildings from their stands. Thankfully, Pretzel Games included some protective stickers, even if they are a little fiddly to apply.
In fact let's get this out of the way now, fiddliness is hands down the biggest complaint I can level at Flick 'em Up. Set-up, and play can take longer than you would expect due to all the pieces, and little rules for new elements. The game comes with a scenario book that takes the basic rules and increases the complexity by adding in new concepts, weapons and items. All this is great to muck about with, but you have to get to that stage first. One of the attractions of dexterity games is the low barrier of entry, Flick 'em Up doesn't have this.
Once you have learnt the concepts though, you are good to go. You'll be holding shoot outs, attempting heists and all manner of western theme goodness.
Trip 'em Up
Everything is tracked by a clever cardboard post box sort of thing. On it are your team of five's lives, weapons and items. Every time you lose a life it is posted through the slot. If a character dies - posted. It's a neat little system and the kind of thing that Flick 'em Up is full of. Each cow-person has a hat which is flipped from red to blue to indicate when they have been activated. If you ever forget which you are, the town clock helpfully reminds you.
In general, activating a character gives you two actions, these can be moving, shooting and picking things up. The way you do these things is by flicking wooden disks of various sizes. There is a larger one for moving, smaller ones for bullets, an odd shaped one for dynamite. If you pick up another pistol you get two shots instead of one, where a rifle gives you a cardboard guide to help with accuracy.
It is all very well thought out and it all works. However, because of all these elements and the set-up and tear down time, the game does take longer than it should. The game can technically play 10 people but you are much better at between two and four, as turns will come round faster and you will shave some time off that extended length.
Flick em' Up Some More
There are currently two expansions for Flick em' Up, both adding new weapons, scenarios and gameplay. I have only played Stallion Canyon which adds horses and a ramp to shoot bullets high enough to knock people off those horses. Neither expansion is essential, but both seem to add a lot of fun to the playground.
Actually that's my advice for Flick 'em Up - treat it like a playground. Don't get bogged down in the specific rules, learn the basics and set-up your own game and have fun with the toys you are provided. I actually really like Flick 'em Up and have fun with the scenarios but it's a hard game to get to the table due to the set-up and over wrought rules.
Stick em' Up
Flick 'em Up is well made and a heck of a lot of fun. The rules may hinder as much as they help, but there is nothing quite like this western themed flicker. Although the deluxe version is pricey, there is also a cheaper plastic version, although no expansions for this yet. If you like dexterity games then this is a great choice, but if you don't there is nothing here to win you over.
Flick 'em Up provides toys for a fun game, don't feel constrained by the rules but use the clever systems to come up with your own scenarios be they one offs or a campaign. After all spending so much time setting up means you need to get the most out of your play.