Review by: Mike Laidlaw
Published: October 29, 2001
It’s hard to find any gamer who can’t, on some level, relate to Saturday morning cartoons. Most of us probably developed our thirst for humor, adventure and mayhem sitting in front of the family TV, and as we grew up discovered that we could become a part of those stories through the games we play. Is Unreal Tournament all that different from a particularly action packed episode of GI Joe? How clearly can we draw a line between the success of the Pokemon TV show and its electronic incarnations? This premise has proven itself true time and again as game developers strive to achieve the same look as animation, be it through the cell shading found in Jet Grind Radio or the more classically animated style of Stupid Invaders. Following on the tail of these releases, Sega decided to level their considerable design talent at the truly zany cartoons and see if they could produce a gaming equivalent to Looney Toons. The result of their efforts is billed as the first of a series: Floigan Bros: Episode One.
Because of their different skills and strengths, the brothers have learned to work together to achieve their goals, and a special tutorial will school players to think in the same way. Set in the Floigan’s kitchen, this tutorial introduces you to the basics of controlling Hoigle in a worry free environment. Using the analog stick, you can run Hoigle around the room, and pan the camera to the left and right using the flippers. The controller buttons are context sensitive; the A button, for example, will dive when running, punch when standing still and pick up objects when standing near them. Other buttons can be used to speak to Moigle, call him closer or point to interesting objects, drawing the lovable lug’s attention to them.
Floigan Bros: Episode One casts you in the role of one Hoigle Floigan, who is truly his brother’s keeper. To call Moigle stupid would be inaccurate, since the larger of the two brothers possesses a rare genius for mechanical repairs and contraptions. His ingenuous demeanor, love of games like tag and High-Five along with his emotional outbursts certainly wouldn’t earn him a chair at the local Mensa meeting, though. Having grown up with the simpler Moigle, Hoigle has become a bit more jaded and infinitely more savvy to the way the world works, and his quick mind coupled with Moigle’s size and strength have made the Floigan Bros. Junkyard profitable.
These mechanics pave the way for an interesting methodology when tackling the puzzles in the main game. For the most part, the only way to achieve most of the goals is to have the brothers work together. If, for example, a switch only opens a gate for a limited amount of time, you’ll have to coax Moigle into picking his shorter and less speedy brother up and running with the two of them through the portal before it closes. The diminutive Hoigle also has trouble with heights, but if he gets his brother dizzy enough the portly sibling will collapse to the ground, allowing you to jump on his belly like a trampoline.