Game & Watch Flagman Review
Posted by Corbie Dillard
A game you might want to flag down
Flagman might not be one of the top tier Game & Watch titles, but it's still quite entertaining if you've got a few minutes to kill. The game borrows heavily from many of the memory-type games of the era: one that immediately comes to mind is the classic Milton Bradley electronic game Simon. As with most of the Game & Watches, you'll have your choice of two different games, but in Flagman, these games aren't just different in difficulty, they're actually very different games entirely.
Game A is the one most similar to Simon in the way the game's Flagman will hold up a series of flags and you must then repeat this in the specific order as was originally shown. It's worth noting that you also have a time limit as well, which becomes more important as the game's pace increases. Each time you get the flag movements correct you'll be awarded a point and the Flagman will increase the number of flag waves by one each time. The longer you can play, the more flag waves you'll have to memorise each time, which can make the game quite challenging in later segments.
Game B is more of a test of reflexes than memory. In this game you'll be shown a specific flag number on the left side of the screen and then you'll have to raise that corresponding flag within the time limit. This will continue on for as long as you keep hitting the correct button presses, but fail to raise the correct flag within the time limit or press the wrong button and you'll score a miss: three misses and it's game over. In this game you'll be awarded a point for each correct button press you make. While this game isn't quite as addictive as Game A, it's a nice change of pace rather than the usual difficulty increase.
The ability to save your scores and come back to try to better them is a great incentive, and when you couple it with the extremely simple controls of the game, you have an enjoyable game for those times when you just have a few minutes to kill. It might seem on the outside like the game offers up very little variety, but once you play the game, you'll soon see why so many retro gamers still love these Game & Watch releases.
One pleasing part of these re-releases is the graphical and audio fidelity to the originals: it's clear the developers put a lot of effort into recreating the overlay visuals that were painted on the screens of the original LCD units, and even the LCD displays are perfect recreations. In fact, it's difficult to tell the difference between DSiWare and the original Game & Watch unit, such is the accuracy.
Flagman isn't quite as engaging as some of the top shelf Game & Watch releases, but it's still got enough intriguing gameplay to make it worthwhile for gamers who can't get enough of these unique LCD games.