E3 2008: Flock Hands-On Preview

Capcom had a little game called Flock on display at this year’s E3, and I had the opportunity to stop by and try my hand at the charming physics-based animal herding puzzle game coming to Xbox Live Arcade, the PlayStation Network, and the PC later this year.

The premise of the game is simple: use your little flying saucer and its tools to direct a number of animals into the Mother Flocker spacecraft, earning points for meeting and/or exceeding your quotas and for performing other fun actions on your way to fulfilling those goals.




Simply chasing behind the sheep, chickens, and other animals will prod them along, but sometimes a little more effort will be required to either clear a path or otherwise make it possible for the animals to reach the Mother Flocker. A tractor beam can lift up boulders and other objects, which are then used to take out other obstacles or begin chain reactions, and another beam is used to flatten out high, impassable grass.

Animals can be lost to the hazards of the level very easily and in a variety of ways. Falling off the edges of the islands on which these collections take place, tumbling into random holes in the ground, getting eaten by vicious moles and other predators, etc. are all ways to diminish one’s chances of meeting the animal quotas for a given level. The good part about that, though, is that the animations are funny, and that you are rarely in danger of losing too many of your herd because male and female animals can be mated on special blocks of land in order to replace lost creatures.



There will be other special abilities as well, such as brief flight for chickens or the propensity of male animals to follow females in a straight line (and avoid obstacles in the process). As the levels progress, the difficulty will increase, and the more players will need to rely on these sorts of skills — and their own puzzle-solving abilities.

When all of the initial levels have been completed, the game has only just begun. The incorporated level editor and sharing system make for unlimited expansion to Flock, allowing players to download and try out the creations of other users anywhere the internet can find them.

To put it simply, what I saw of Flock looks like a fun-filled experience, and what I heard about the game promises to make it a lasting one. This modern-day lemmings will be available by holiday ’08. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull myself away from it more easily then than I could on the show floor this week.



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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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