I really hope you played Stick it to the Man that released in 2013, also made by Zoink Games. Flipping Death isn’t a sequel but it is set in the same universe. More importantly it uses the same art style too, with many improvements! I’m clearly setting up this review as a positive one, you didn’t even needed to invade my mind for it! The Swedish developer has already had a busy year so far, releasing the excellent Fe (our review) in February. Go a head and read that review if you missed it, but for now here is what I think about Flipping Death!
What do you do?
Flipping Death is a unique 2D platformer that lets you control a bunch of characters, all with different abilities. You will have to figure out how to use each character so you can progress with the story and levels. Most other games like this let you collect all kinds of items to unlock doors and paths, in this game you should see all the characters as items in your inventory.
What is good?
- Story: You play as Penny (not the one from Big Bang Theory, although this Penny is cute too!) and without spoiling stuff you accidentally take over control of everyone’s favorite job: The Grim Reaper or Death himself. The charming way how the story is told helps with sucking you in the experience and immediately allows you to fall in love with the characters. It might be a silly story but it is one of the more memorable in the past months.
- Dialogue & voice acting: The hilarious dialogue, especially while invading someone’s mind is the strongest point of Flipping Death. You are always curious to know what a new character is thinking, from a priest that judges a marriage to a lonely animal that appreciates a sudden new voice. With a great cast of voice actors that truly deliver the lines in the best way possible it is a joy to play the game.
- Ability gameplay: Taking control over characters requires monster-like collectibles (critters), here is where the platforming with Penny comes into play. With her scythe she can reach higher platforms to reach places where the critters are. When you have enough you can take control of a character, most of the times with a unique ability that lets you pass an object or quest. Important to know is that once you took control over someone the option to fast travel opens up too. It is a blast discovering all the playable characters and what they bring to the table with abilities (and dialogue)
- This game is art: I could be short and say that on a visual standpoint Flipping Death is pure art. The art design from characters and levels are nothing short but brilliant. Stick it to the Man was a visually beautiful game but this really improves on every possible aspect. Animations are much better, more detail, a more daring level design and beautiful colorful backgrounds. Penny’s world looks scary and normal objects in the real life are transformed into monsters, the contrast between the alive and death world is fascinating.
- Confusing: Zoink made the design choice to flip the world (as a mirror) when you go from Penny to a character that is alive. Causing some confusing, I understood what was happening but I still had some issues manoeuvring around and knowing where the hell a specific spot was. Fast travel is a blessing for that but not all the times.
- Difficulty: I don’t mind an easy or hard game but a little bit more challenge would be very welcome. I never got stuck solving puzzles (I didn’t even use the hint-system) and the platforming is as safe as visiting a children’s farm.
What is bad?
- Length: With no real reason to replay the game (you do have some character cards with sub-quests) I was pretty disappointed to see it end after five hours. I’m aware that this kind of game isn’t something that you play for fifty hours but at least double the content would have been welcome. I had so much fun and was honestly pretty sad when the credits started to roll in.
Flipping Death [Score: 87/100] Zoink is on a fliptastic roll, Fe was great and now Flipping Death is another huge success. The art designers and visual talent from the Swedish developer is remarkable! I had so much joy playing as Penny and her friends that I was sad to see it end in a rather fast way. Regardless, this is a game that you must try out!