| Flitzer

It's a peculiar quirk of fate that the people who enjoy revealing their bodies in public places are usually the ones who you'd really rather not see naked. Take naturist beaches, for instance. As promising as the concept sounds to an average red-blooded man or woman, there's more pallid, hanging flesh on display than in your average butcher's window. And what is it about fat people at the gym and their constant desire to squeeze their puckered thighs into skin-tight lycra cycling shorts?

It's a similar story when it comes to streakers. Watch a game on the box, and you're protected by the wide-angle lens and cut-away shots that are used to avoid full-frontal nudity on daytime TV. It's only when you see the close-up in the next day's copy of The Sun that you're confronted by the pale, sagging spectacle.

Thankfully, then, the designers of Flitzer (German for streaker: developer Handy Games is based in Giebelstadt) have decided to take liberties with the look of the in-game characters that you'll send hither and thither without a thread on. You play a delightfully buff man or woman, who suddenly decides that the ongoing World Cup game needs livening up and that you're the person to do just it. So off come the clothes and out comes the inner exhibitionist. You run around the pitch, avoiding the security guards, and perform a range of amusing stunts, tricks and dances to score points. The fans hurl power-ups onto the field in appreciation, enabling you to turn invisible, run faster, or regain your stamina more quickly.

In just 90 seconds of streaking, your aim is to achieve as high a score as possible without getting caught by the fuzz (so to speak). There are around half-a-dozen different tricks that you can perform depending upon your whereabouts on the pitch, and you can undertake ever-more complicated versions of them if you've got the confidence that the security aren't going to catch you 'in flagrante delicto'.

While 90 seconds doesn't sound like much, one of two things are likely to happen before you reach the elusive minute and a half mark. Firstly, the longer you are streaking (flitzing?), the more security guards take to the pitch to stop you, so life gets very difficult towards the end of each level. Secondly, the whole novelty of playing as a streaker wears thin very quickly when you realise that you're simply required to run to a set spot and then hold down the 5 button for a few seconds. Because once you get past the humour (and it is a great laugh, for about 10 minutes), you realise that there's really very little to the game. Once you've played a couple of levels as a bloke and a bird and played around with the different heads that you stick on the two standard bodies, there's nothing to keep you coming back for more.

If the tricks and stunts were harder to perform, perhaps by pressing the number keys in a particular order, and if that took some practice to master, Flitzer would deserve more than a minute or two of fame. It's a shame it doesn't, because the game is not in the slightest bit raunchy or seedy; it's just enjoyably cheeky, even down to the anatomically-correct characters that are on offer to the over-18s (a strategically placed black bar is present for younger players).

As it is, Flitzer is little more than a flash in the pan.


More fun than shaking your jiggly bits at the police, though just as short-lived a thrill