The pure blooded thief, Henry Stickmin is at it again. After he's broken the bank, escaped the prison and stolen the diamond, he's now going to attempt to flee the complex, a.k.a. The Wall. The Wall is a place for some of the world's baddest and brightest criminals and our favorite stick man just happens to be its newest resident. How flattering. As with other games in the series, Fleeing the Complex features a ton of different endings. All in all, there are sixty unique fails and five good ends, provided you're lucky enough to figure out the proper sequence. New to this title is the nifty map system which allows you to skip back to a previous scene, making it easier to hunt down all those fails and successful escapes.
When it comes to controls, there really isn't much to learn in Fleeing the Complex. What's more important here is your reaction speed because you'll need to decide and click on the fly as events occur. Think of it as a choose your own adventure game with quick time events. What's good about this system is that it keeps you at the edge of your seat and pushes you to take more risks. And by risks, we mean taking that Sandwich over truck keys. It's great fun because almost nothing is predictable.
That being said, your success ultimately boils down to how patient you've been in unlocking routes. The system depends on a trial and error approach and leaves very little to skill or even logical reasoning. For example, you pick what seems to be a powerful weapon (or vehicle) but things don't go your way and you end up back in the slammer. That's nothing to feel bad about though as unlocking as many unique fails as you can is often as satisfying and twice as hilarious as being able to escape unscathed.
What makes Fleeing the Complex so fun is the zany assortment of gadgets and thingamabobs available for use. Every time you come across a new scenario, the game urges you to pick one of several options. Choose one and that route is unlocked for you, for better or worse. Sometimes it gets you further along in Henry's story and leads you to the next fork in the road. Other times, it ends up a bust and you get rewarded with a fail. Be it collecting unique fails or trying for that elusive, flawless ending, the game is worth a few laughs for sure.
If you are a true blue lover of video games, then you'll be pleased to know that there are a few classics that make an appearance in Fleeing the Complex. There's a pair of shoes from Sonic the Hedgehog, a familiar coil spring, even a tanuki suit! Of course, you'll have to go through the routes one after the other to even gain access to these silly tidbits but it's all worth it just to see what happens next.
As proven by the Stickmin series, Henry has an infinite number of lives. He's been pounded, crushed and flattened by so many different things but he's always managed to get up again. Fleeing the Complex, just like its predecessors, builds upon that outrageous, sort of Looney Tunes-like humor to keep you hooked. It's not a bad strategy at all. In fact, it's quite refreshing as compared to your typical linear game. It also helps that the animation is fluid as it gives more punch to the punch lines, so to speak.
However it is not a game of skill. There is no way to show off your accuracy or wit here other than when you need to make a split second decision on whether or not you want to click on a n item to unlock a certain path. We did like the classic game references as well as the audio work here as the voice acting is aptly cartoony for the theme. Also, the number of unique fails is impressive, adding to the replay value of what could have been a short game. Lastly, we liked the fact that blood and gore was kept to a minimum. The game could have gone that way, as excessive violence is a stick man tradition, but it instead focused on its humorous delivery.
If you're up for something lighthearted and aren't opposed to some good ol' cartoon humor, then by all means, play Fleeing the Complex. It's enjoyable enough to try a few times for a proper escape and even more so when you're hunting down all those unique scenarios. If you're the type to hate on game overs though, this isn't the game for you. Part of the fun is being able to find and collect all of Henry Stickmin's epic fails and wearing your death count like a badge of honor.