Since the Internet doesn't condone the act of flocking, you'll have to get cozy up for some couch co-op with another player. FLOCK! made sure to have a separate campaign for the multiplayer, to make use of both players mad skills, and ability to communicate while sitting in the same room. Co-op specific obstacles, like gates that one player has to hold open while the other herds the sheep through, or heavy items that require both space ships to lift, give the co-op it's own unique tasks. Communication is key so the ships complete the tasks efficiently without wasting time herding the same group of animals.
The challenges were very interesting, but the single player scoring system doesn't work well with two ships. If both ships herd a flock of sheep to the Motherflocker at the same time, whichever ship is closest to the Motherflocker gets the credit for the abducted sheep. The team effort should be awarded a team score, without trying for the friendly competition that forces players to do their best in other types of games. The person left holding up fences, or flattening corn fields gets completely left out, thus creating unnecessary tension and lots of flock yous.
For some reason when programming all these bouncing sheep, someone decided it was a good idea to have the co-op ships bounce away from each other, throwing both ships way off course should one stray too close. This puts a huge damper on moving around one another, and cooperating to complete tasks - which I was under the impression was the purpose of co-op.
Another strange technical issue was not having split screen for local co-op, restricting how far away ships can move from one another, and with bouncing ships this made things flocking difficult. If sheep are spread throughout the level with a time limit, stuffing both ships on a crowded screen is very hindering to progress. Both of these things add to the difficulty of the game, and made some things more frustrating than fun.
Co-op specific challenges can either be hit or miss. In the case of FLOCK!, the challenges are very original and satisfying to figure out. However, the damper comes from the technical issues. When your space ships are temperamental bumper cars on a cramped single screen, frustration occurs quickly.
Humor in FLOCK! helps out immensely, but can't make up for the local co-op, it's too flocking difficult! Physical barriers like a single screen and bouncing ships are as fun as a bow legged sheep. However, having co-op specific challenges, and custom co-op maps are a nice addition, too bad FLOCK! isn't at a more affordable price.
The Co-Op Experience: Flock's gameplay uses physics based puzzles to herd farm animals. The Co-Op allows both you and a buddy to control an alien UFO and slaug...I mean heard animals.In Flock!, players take control of a UFO that has been given the challenge of herding farm animals to its mothership through a variety of puzzle-filled interactive levels, including corn fields, pastures and other “plushie”-like environments. In order to succeed, players will have to manage the quirkiness of the animal’s distinct behaviors, as well as solve a series of environmental puzzles using Flock’s! physics-based gameplay. The animals that populate these islands – sheep, chickens, pigs, cows and more – respond to the UFO in all kinds of eccentric ways based on their nature. By finding or creating a passable route across a level, players can herd the animals safely toward their ship. Solving the puzzles within the suggested time limit yields exciting rewards, but players can also take their time in order to find more hidden bonuses. With a unique theme, clever humor and easy pick-up-and-play controls, Flock! promises to be an instant hit with gamers of all ages! [CAPCOM]
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