By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

America - Front

America - Back

Review Scores

VGChartz Score


Steel Wool Games



Other Versions

And, PC

Release Dates

(Add Date)
(Add Date)
(Add Date)

Community Stats

Owners: 0
Favorite: 0
Tracked: 0
Wishlist: 0
Now Playing: 0

Flyhunter Origins (PSV)

By Signalstar 27th Dec 2014 | 3,704 views 

A game with a bug problem.

Flyhunter Origins is a 2.5D platformer for the PlayStation Vita that stars Zak, a one-eyed alien working as a janitor on a spaceship called “The Frog.” One day, while entertaining fantasies of becoming a legendary Fly Hunter like the rest of the ship’s crew, Zak accidentally releases their precious cargo and his shipmates during their cryo-sleep. Zak thus embarks on an adventure down to Earth to hunt down the escaped insects and rescue his jettisoned captain.

Developer Steel Wool Games apparently has some experience with film animation, a talent which shines through during the game’s well-scripted and vivid cutscenes. Only one character features full voice-acting (the ship’s AI computer, who advises Zak during his trial by fire quest to become a Fly Hunter), with the others all speaking an alien language that is communicated through English subtitles, which is a clever and fitting work-around. In regards to the story it is a well-written tale that has a charming sense of humor to go along with its compact plot. None of the jokes are laugh out loud funny but it's nevertheless witty enough to plant an amused smirk on your face from time to time. On the audio side of things the soundtrack has a pleasant country bluegrass feel. One issue I have though is with the sound effect for the character’s footsteps, which sound like a wad of wet paper being thrown repeatedly at a wall, though thankfully you can lower the volume of the sound effects.

The gameplay is fairly standard. The analog stick controls movement, X jumps, square fires a charge from your zapper, and circle attacks with your swatter. You can purchase upgrades for your two weapons, though doing so only has a subtle effect on the gameplay. You also have an appropriate amount of in-air control, though some maneuvers such as the wall jump can be tricky to master. During the flying-chase sequences, navigating between various obstacles can prove cumbersome, but luckily the game does not penalize you besides slowing you down a bit so that your target gets further away. The game finds no use for the Vita’s many unique control inputs except in the form of touchscreen menu navigation, though even this is not perfectly tuned.

One major issue with the game is the unfortunate presence of bugs (the pun was unavoidable). In-between levels I would select the icon to bring me to the upgrades menu only for the game to remain unresponsive. Other times I would die and be forced to restart the level because the game would not respawn me at the last checkpoint. The game’s initial loading screen is also quite a doozy, lasting up to a full minute at times. Flyhunter Origins' biggest issue however is that it just does not look very good in motion thanks to a stunted framerate and stilted gameplay animations. These random slowdowns break the player's immersion, zapping the liveliness out of the game world. These technical problems are not so bad as to ruin the experience but they occur frequently enough during a relatively short play time to register as an issue.

Despite its mix of aesthetic flourishes and shortcomings, Flyhunter Origins boasts strongly executed level design. It's challenging without becoming frustrating, accessible but not overly simplistic. Traversing the various stages you come across all manner of menacing bugs and critters, including frogs that will swallow you whole, spiders that will ensnare you in their webs, and Venus fly traps that will devour you if you rest on them for too long. None of the above mentioned bugs are vulnerable to your attacks, though you can temporarily stun smaller bugs with your zapper or squash them with your electrified fly swatter. 

Level variety is solid, with the game taking you through a flower garden, inside an ant colony, a bee hive, a garbage dump, and even an enemy spaceship. The miniature scale and abundance of earthy colors gives the game a feel akin to that of LittleBigPlanet, while the intergalactic space comedy theme evokes Ratchet and Clank. You also get to take control of the ship’s captain, whose rude awakening from cryo-sleep leads to her teaming up with Zak to recover the lost cargo and defeat the robot alien menace. 

Your main mission is to recover the valuable insects lost in the accident. Towards the end of each episode you use a jetpack to chase down airborne insects like a dragonfly, firefly, and a housefly. During these segments you collect speed boosts so you can keep pace with your prey and strike them with your swatter when in range. While they diversify the title's gameplay, these segments feel inherently low stakes and repetitive by the end.

Flyhunter Origins will set you back $6.99 on the PlayStation Store. For your money you get 5 episodes, split into 21 levels, which takes anywhere from 1 minute for the bug chasing sequences to as much as ten minutes for the lengthier, more challenging platforming levels. My final play time came in at just under 2 hours. The platforming levels have either 50 or 100 bug eggs to collect, a bio mass meter you can fill up by gathering the green residuals of defeated enemy bugs, and a few secrets such as new costumes to find hidden off the beaten path. These are not the strongest incentives to replay through the adventure but they're nice additions for completionists.

Flyhunter Origins is aimed at a younger audience but 2D platforming fans of any age should be able to extract a reasonable amount of enjoyment from it. It’s actually rather ambitious for such a small scale game. The enjoyably compact story and spirited cutscenes are the game’s standout charms, but the 2D platforming gameplay is unfortunately marred by baffling performance issues that make it hard to recommend too enthusiastically.

VGChartz Verdict


This review is based on a digital copy of Flyhunter Origins for the PSV, provided by the publisher.

Read more about our Review Methodology here

Sales History

Opinion (0)

View all