Reviewed by Kieran
Category: Adventure, Puzzle, Platformer
Release Date: 08.21.2018
From time to time a game comes along that makes you question your own mortality, your very existense. This isn’t that game. What it is in fact, is a lot of fun, full of charm, charisma and just the right amount of crazy. From Zoink games, of Fe fame, comes a game full of weird characters, a dynamic female lead and some of the best comedy writing in a video game for quite some time.
Flipping Death is a puzzle platformer with a twist. Or should that be flip? Much like Super Paper Mario on the Wii, a clever flip mechanism drastically alters the state of play. Despite the similarities with this cutesy classic, the tone of this game is significantly different.
After your inevitable death , very early on in this fantastically barmy title, you rather unwillingly end up as deaths new intern. He’s had enough, of everything and is off to the moon for a much needed vacation.
In some ways, this version of death seems to have been very strongly influenced by the late, great, Terry Pratchett.
With life behind you, and an eternity of the afterlife ahead, you can execute some pretty neat new abilities.
The first of these is the ability to posses other characters. From the flip side, you can see shadows of the other side of Flatwood Peaks. By paying a toll of spirits you can possess the limbs of the townsfolk. Obviously hilarity ensues. There are also special spirits to collect. They provide a much more rare form of currency, which unlike the regular spirits isn’t infinite and is required for possessing key characters.
The second ability is the a real corker. With a tap of the L trigger you can read their thoughts, which at times is utterly hilarious, at times it’s equally terrifying. Not only does this lead to some brilliant dialogue it can also help you to solve puzzles.
The puzzles aren’t smack you in the face obvious, but if you’ve engaged sufficiently with the ensemble of eclectic characters, you should be able to work out what you need to do. Need to break through a suspicious underwater chain barrier? Maybe speak to Biff, the lovable lumberjack. Wasn’t he banging on about how his chainsaw could cut through chains and was completely waterproof. Now that you mention it, he was. And didn’t that mermaid seem just a little bit obsessed with chainsaws to you?
Give me a flipping hint here…
And if you ever do get completely stuck, the game offers a very pleasant hint system. By means of an image of a character or a location, even what had previously seemed like the most heinous of puzzles often unravels. In the moments where I had to utilise this system I found my self emitting an audible ‘OH YEAH’ as everything seemingly clicked into place.
The artistic direction is gorgeously sublime. Flipping death is very similar to Zoink’s previous work, Stick it to the man, in appearance, which is absolutely fine with me. The animations are utterly charming and brimming with personality in the land of the living. Over on the flip side there is an overriding hue of purple, along with black and reds. Slightly more gothic yet still full of all the aforementioned charm. For example, catching multiplying mushrooms or evading Metroid like creatures is still very cutesy despite being a little more sombre in tone.
The audio throughout is always a real joy as well, seemingly complimenting the current scene. The entirety of the cast is fully voice acted, all to a very high standard. Flipping Death really is a premium indie game, right up there with the very best.
Each of the games 8 chapters is played on the same map, albeit in a different era in the town of Flatwood Peaks. This makes for a lot of reused assets. Fortunately, in this case, familiarity never breeds contempt. Everything remains fresh and exciting, and if anything, it’s a a blessing as by the end of the 3rd chapter you know the map inside out.
Flipping death is an absolutely wonderful adventure from its inauguration right through to it’s very satisfying conclusion.
The writing is absolutely phenomenal throughout and there were so many genuine laugh out loud moments. The main campaign took me roughly 6 to complete, however the time flew by at breakneck speed. With a whole gaggle of ‘Ghost cards’ to collect, there is plenty of replay value if you want to go back to previous chapters and try to get them all. They are unlocked through performing various task, before completing the primary objective of the chapter.
Whether you are a goth, tween or if you’ve already entered full blown adult mode, hyper active toddler and all, there is something here for you to enjoy. The cutesy coat can’t take away from this being a slightly more adult game. With death being a prominent theme throughout there are some slightly more morbid moments.
Morbid yet somehow hilarious.
You know what, that should be the tagline for this game….
Buy Flipping Death for $19.99
Or for £17.99
Pick up a physical copy from Amazon
Available September 25th
Pick up a physical copy from Amazon UK
Available September 28th