Flem – Review
Follow Genre: Indie Classic Platformer
Developer: Henchman & Goon
Publisher: Henchman & Goon
Platform: PC, Mac
Tested on: PC

Flem – Review

Site Score
Good: Very fluid motions, Progression not dependent on score, Nice difficulty, Great level design, Leaderboard
Bad: Unnecessarily small cursor in menu
User Score
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Have you ever wondered about the hidden lives of the snot you release during a sneeze? Indie developer studio Henchman & Goon clearly did! Re-imagining the impressive flight of your bogeys as a nostalgic feeling platform game, this Norwegian team sure makes you think differently about your slimy snot.


Flem and his friends lived happily in a humid and warm nose. However, this all changed after the calamity of the Great Sneeze. Flung out of the nostrils he once called home, the little booger now finds himself stranded in a strange unknown world. All alone, but unafraid, Flem is prepared to travel through all four seasons while using his super snot powers in search for his lost friends in the Land of Eternal Tissue.


The pixel-art of Flem is simply marvellous. The design is a clear throwback to classic platformers while keeping the general feel fresh and contemporary. Tints used for the backgrounds are soft, subtle and easy on the eyes. Throughout the seasons, colour pallets change from brownish greens for Spring to blue-greens, browns and blues for Summer, Fall and Winter respectively. While the background uses hues that are closely related for the outlining of shapes, Flem and his enemies are more clearly defined. This creates a beautiful contrast that allows the player to quickly recognise obstacles and act accordingly. On top of that, snotpower bars are simple, yet perfectly convey the amount of time or uses you have left.

Movement in-game and during scenes is nice and fluid. During our whole playthrough, we encountered not a single glitch, bug or framerate drop that prevented a smooth and quick journey throughout the many levels. This of course is incredibly important when going for a good time. Furthermore, all 40 levels are designed beautifully and always feel new, despite the classical reuse of common blocks. Be careful though if you have trouble distinguishing colour tones that are closely related. As Flem and the Summer theme pick colours out of the same can, some people might have problems seeing the booger in the wide sea of blue-greens.


The one thing that could have been designed better, is the cursor for the menu screen. While a simple tap on the keyboard can easily move between options, the game still features a tiny little mouse cursor. It actually feels out of place and could easily be left out.


As Flem clearly goes for an old-school feel, the game is accompanied by a lovely 8-bit soundtrack. While it gently catapults the player back in time, the music guides the gameplay without ever drawing the player’s focus away from the action. The one negative about the soundtrack is the fact there is actually little diversity in the background music. However, as sound in this genre only needs to set the mood, this is hardly a problem.


Flem is an Indie classic platformer with a high nostalgia factor. While the great pixel-art and 8-bit soundtrack create the right atmosphere for this game, it is especially the gameplay that will make your ride worthwhile. In Flem, you lead the titular character, a ball of snot, through 40 puzzles in search for tissue-portals. Hazards include insects and plants that kill you if you hit them, but also deadly spikes that can cover any wall on your path.

As with most old-school platform and platform-puzzle games, Flem makes it a thing to start at a reasonable difficulty. There are many games out there that lure players in with easy levels after which they suddenly become much harder before an important level unlock, simply to lengthen playtime. Flem has none of this. Its difficulty is reasonable and there are no stars to win or levels to unlock, which makes surviving a puzzle you have been stuck on for ages enormously satisfactory. Furthermore, Flem starts every level in which you use an ability for the first time, with a minimal hint. These miniature tutorials simply appear in the form of a text bubble telling you which key to use. After this, it is up to the player to experiment with the newfound powers. Because of this, you never feel belittled. In the end, even simply finding solutions to hard problems can be a full triumph on its own. Also, Flem features a hardcore mode which you can unlock should you think the game needs even more pepper than it already has.


Manoeuvring the little snot-ball can get a little complex at times. General movement is done by using the WASD-keys on your keyboard, while abilities ask you to master the IJKL-keys at the same time. These configurations can luckily be adjusted to your own hand for comfort. Players that own a compatible controller are also able to enjoy the game using this device. However, as we tested the game strictly by using the keyboard, we cannot give any feedback on general gameplay with the Steam Controller. Flem also saves your progression automatically, allowing you to resume the game on the level you quit it on. Furthermore, should you want to replay a level, a quick click in the game’s menu brings you right where you want to be.

Flem works with unlimited lives and does not have a Game Over screen. When you die, the game simply brings the booger back to the start point of the level so you can try again, resetting your time as it does. This is particularly handy when doing a level for the first time and still needing to explore the many dangers that lure on the map. A feature lots of people will dislike, however, are the leaps of faith that are in this game. While we personally think they go extremely well with the instant respawn, they do force you to hold back during a first run. As every level hands out medals for time, it might be frustrating having to redo them because you didn’t know what to expect at the end of a jump. Of course, with levels that should take between 9 and 30 seconds to complete, this shouldn’t actually be much of an issue.

While progressing through the game, you will eventually automatically receive Flem’s two snotpowers. These powers need to be unlocked on every map by rolling or jumping through power-up balls. Depending on the colour of the ball, you get either the ‘cloud’ or ‘dash’ ability. A power-up refills when not being used. This means that, in principle, one unlock is enough to reach the magical tissue and finish the level.

However, a lot more is needed if you want to reach the top of the leaderboards! As mentioned before, Flem hands out medals after each succeeded level to score your performance. This not only pushes the player to redo these in order to break their own records, but also encourages them to compete in speedruns. The game does this by putting extra power-up balls on strategic places for a quick refill, littering certain maps with clever shortcuts and setting sharp times for gold medals.



Flem is a fun game that does its classic inspirations justice. With reaching the finish being the only thing keeping you back from progressing to the following level, the game feels like an honest addition to the collection of both casual and hardcore gamers. While casuals will feel the rush of finally completing a level, speedrunners can improve their times and complete with the best, for the first place on the score board. The feel of the game is simply spot on, combining new ideas and the basics of what makes classic platformers so great. Controlling Flem can get complex at times, but this only adds to the welcome challenge. In short, Flem is obviously a great game for lovers of retro-like platform-games.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Flem – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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