Flipping Death – Xbox One Review
Death Becomes Her:
There aren’t many titles I’ll review for Absolute Xbox which allow me to do something I’ve never done before in a game. Flipping Death from Zoink Games seemed determined to provide something unprecedented every few minutes – possess a whale? Check. Attack bystanders with a dentist’s drill? Check? Use a seagull to poop on heads? Che….Well, you get the idea.
If that sounds a bit disjointed and random, have no fear. Flipping Death does a great job of making these bizarre tasks seem wholly appropriate (in the context of the game of course!) and a lot of fun.
You play the role of Penny, a young woman who, after falling to her death in a mausoleum, begins her time in the afterlife by being mistaken for a temp due to give Death a break. With barely a by your leave he takes off to a well-earned vacation on the moon (as you do), and hands Penny the tools of his trade.
These tools allow you to instantly switch from the land of the dead to the world of the living and possess the outlandish characters you’ll find there. My stand-out favourite was Pokeman, a bizarre character in super hero attire who believes his super power is, well, poking people. It only gets more bonkers from there.
In a mechanic which reminded be a little of PlayStation classic Soul Reaver, you’ll need to flip between worlds frequently, getting advice from ghosts in the afterlife and using the quirks of the living characters to solve problems and make progress. By the end of the game, you’ll know the cast inside out and will have ample opportunity to possess them and use each mechanic in a variety of ridiculous ways.
Some light platforming elements can get a bit frustrating, but that aside the game does a decent job of making sure you’re always progressing. That said, one of the best aspects of the game is the trial and error involved in trying out various quirks in the wrong situations, but if you do become stumped, there’s a handy picture based hint system at your disposal.
Anyone who played Zoink’s last big release, Stick it to the Man, will immediately recognise the spaghetti limbed art style, but this game takes it to the next level. The 2D town of Flatworld Peaks looks absolutely gorgeous, full of colour, detail and zaniness – it’s completely distinctive and arguably the games stand out feature.
Giving it a run for its money though, is the excellent writing and characterisation throughout. Penny is delightfully sassy and smart, but you’d do yourself a disservice if you choose to skip the lines of dialogue with the supporting cast – there’s a few gems in there.
At roughly 8-10 hours, Flipping Death is just long enough to be satisfying without outstaying its welcome. There isn’t a huge amount of variety to the gameplay, but the core mechanics are interesting enough to keep your attention until the credits roll. There’s the standard 1000 GS to be had, all of which are achievable in your first playthrough. Even better, they come, for the most part, in 100 GS score chunks – I love me some 100 GS cheevos.
All in all, Flipping Death deserves some love and attention. Making a game about death feel light hearted is no mean feat, but despite the subject matter, this is a genuinely heart-warming adventure. A distinctive art style, a sense of humour and enjoyable gameplay make this an above average title which, at £15.99, represents good value.
Thanks to Zoink Games for the code, and for the journey!