This is a really great small gaming experience. A lot of Flash games (or, hell, Unity games) are obsessed with cookie cutter RPG progression and crafting systems and numerous other layers of gameplay. Sometimes, though, a well-executed arcade experience really stands out against that backdrop and Foreign Frugglers is certainly one of those experiences.
The random elements of the game playing off of the linear elements really keep the experience focused without being restrictive. Having to memorize the waves and the enemy patterns within them is fun in itself as it's quite satisfying to put a strategy in place before the enemies even start attacking. Having to deal with the weapons dealt you, however, keeps you adjusting your strategy. A normal Space Invaders clone couldn't be more boring, but the minor tweak of putting that game archetype in a platformer context really goes a long way here. Having to aim upwards constantly is the tiniest bit annoying when you're focusing on avoiding projectiles and timing your jumps. Aiming upwards seems especially cumbersome considering there's only one type of enemy which attacks you from the ground and that one enemy doesn't show up until the later waves. It's intuitive, though, and doesn't hinder the overall game experience. Being able to aim left and right at all is certainly preferred to being locked into firing upwards, also.
The control itself feels great. Everything is very responsive and the weapons are fun to use, though they all have appropriately frustrating drawbacks to provide balance. The enemies and weapons all have the right balance of variety, neither being too similar or too different. Everything has its place.
The visuals are certainly worthy of their own praise. The palette of the game is nice and vibrant with exaggerated color radiating from everything. The added detail of the background flashing bright white when you take a shot is a great touch. The minimalistic characters are amusingly designed and animated quite well, which makes for a charming combination. I especially have to mention how truly delighted I was to see how much personality was given to the main characters, as their only differences are visual. From the varying cheesy names to the detailed mugshots for each character, I loved the presentation of each one. They took me back to the colorful cast of Metal Slug with a gender-balanced team each member of which oozed character.
The sound is spot-on, but not really noteworthy. The beat playing on the title screen is catchy, but its reliance on the survival of the boombox is the most fun thing about it. Guns make satisfying noises and the enemies explode with crisp low-fi sound, but that's not where this game really shines.
Foreign Frugglers is a well-made, bite-sized gaming experience that fits together wonderfully. It's flaws are small and forgivable and the whole game bleeds creativity and passion. My biggest problem with the game is that there's so little of it to enjoy.