Flyhunter Origins Review – Swattin’ Flies and Shootin’ Spiders (PS Vita)
Flyhunter Origins puts the player in the tiny shoes of the tiny alien explorer Zak. Once a bumbling janitor, Zak has now been forced to take on the role of a Flyhunter, which, as the name suggests, means he has to hunt down and capture flies. Although the task sounds simple enough, it is anything but easy for Zak. Armed with only a stun gun and a flyswatter, the little alien must evade frogs, battle spiders, and carefully jump from leaf to leaf in order to complete his task.
Explore a Tiny World
The idea and story behind Flyhunter Origins is great. It is incredibly fun to see and experience the world from someone the size of a small bug, and the game captures the essence of the tiny world perfectly. With beautiful visuals, players make Zak traverse well-known terrains, such as a local pond or a little anthill, but from a perspective that no person can ever really have.
Each leaf appears massive, and Zak can jump onto the leaves with ease. The leaves, however, are still just leaves, and bend under the weight of so tiny of a creature. Jumping onto a leaf near the edge can cause the thing to droop downwards, making Zak slide right off of the thing. At the same time, spiders are lurking above the player, ready to drop down and eat Zak at a moment’s notice. Tiny aphid-like critters will run into Zak with their spiky bodies, taking out one of the three life indicators that the player must constantly be aware of.
This is what Flyhunter Origins does best. The attention to detail is amazing and the world simply looks beautiful. However, all of this beauty seems to come at a high cost. While playing Flyhunter, I noticed that the game would become extremely laggy at certain parts, making it difficult to play and really enjoy. In fact, throughout most of the game, I experienced dips in the frame-rate. Although these mostly were just annoyances, at times they made it difficult to land jumps correctly, or even to plan when to swing the deadly flyswatter at an enemy.
A Short Character and a Short Game
Besides the lag, the only other thing that really annoyed my about the platformer was the game’s length. Like the character that you play as, the game is very short. It can be beaten within only a few hours, and although players can go back and finish it again, there are no collectibles, so there doesn’t seem like much of a point in replaying the game multiple times.
The only thing that could drive a player back to replay a level is to collect a maximum number of points. In each level, killing bugs rewards the player with points. They don’t have any real purpose, other than to be used as a means to brag to friends. However, each level also contains eggs, which do actually have a purpose, at least for a small part of the game. Eggs can be used to level up either the stun gun or the flyswatter. The upgrade makes each item look different, and they apparently perform better, too, although the flyswatter upgrades don’t actually say how they better the weapon, seeing as most enemies just take one whack or two to kill.
The upgrades might come in handy, though I am not entirely sure, during boss battles with the flies. The boss battles are one of the more interesting parts of the game, as they take the player away from the platformer-style of gameplay and have the player chasing the fly by flying through the air. The camera switches so that the player can now move in 3D, rather than only being able to move in the typical 2D platformer way. The goal of these battles is to catch up to the fly and smack it a bunch of times, until it finally just collapses. It isn’t challenging, as there is not really any ways to get hurt, but it does serve as a nice way to break up the gameplay.
Overall, Flyhunter Origins features a wacky and fun story, and gives players a beautiful view at what the world look like at the size of a tiny bug. This, however, is marred by the game’s incredible lagginess and short length, but during the short time that it took me to complete the game, I had fun. While I am not sure I would recommend it, only due to the low frames-per-second, the low price tag ($6.99) means I can confidently say that you should consider it.
Review copy was provided by the publisher. For information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.