Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step in to the shoes of Death? Well in Flipping Death you get to do that very thing. This has been touted as a spiritual successor to ‘Stick It To The Man’ but having never played that game I have gone on to Flipping Death fresh, with no idea of what to expect or anything to compare it to. The game starts with a little intro in to the main character and an insight in to the setting of the game with what is about to unfold. Players control Penny, the main protagonist, recently deceased and a newbie to the land of the dead. Death tells her she’s the temp he ordered quite a few years ago so he is able to go on a long awaited and well deserved holiday to the moon, leaving her in charge of absolutely everything and everyone which could be a recipe for disaster. Armed with Deaths robe and Scythe, Penny is in for an eventful time being in charge of the land of the dead (and the living).
There are an abundance of puzzles that are reminiscent of the classic point & click adventure games from the late 80’s to early 90’s and it does a great job of keeping these puzzles interesting. The point of the game is to give some closure to undead spirits stuck in the afterlife, which involves solving murders and completing tasks for these rather friendly and quirky characters to give them some kind of peace. In order to complete these puzzles, Penny is able to possess the living to help her in her quest and whenever one of these living characters are possessed the environment completely flips around in to the real world allowing Penny to utilise the living and control their every move. The whole concept works, it works really well.
The gameplay is a simple platforming formula that everyone will be familiar with. Penny’s Scythe can be used as a teleporting tool, so if there is a platform that’s a little too high, she can throw it up to that platform and teleport straight to it, a nifty and useful tool I must say, especially for areas out of reach. Also, when members of the living are possessed, the right stick controls key parts of there body whether its chattering teeth, an axe or even an ice cream, this gameplay mechanic fully controls these useful body parts that could come in handy when completing objectives.
As a whole Flipping Death plays pretty well with controls being smooth and responsive with only a few little hiccups where whichever character I’m controlling may get caught in the environment, leading to a frustrating fall or trouble getting to a certain section but it’s nothing too intrusive and didn’t spoil the fun I was having with it. While the core gameplay mechanics are simple and well done, it’s in the seamless switching between worlds where Flipping Death prevails, with each side of the world offering varied and quirky gameplay mechanics that give this game huge personality and appeal. It has an addictive nature that pulled me right in to the experience and while it’s gameplay isn’t perfect it’s certainly well done.
One of the first things I noticed with Flipping Death is how polished and incredibly detailed it is in terms of its visual style. To put it bluntly, Flipping Death is an obscure looking game but an incredibly nice looking game too. It has an artistic design that film director Tim Burton would feel right at home with, as the distorted looking characters and world design offer something that I couldn’t help but be in admiration of. Characters have bags of personality and the flipping worlds each have their own characteristics that are beautifully done. Animations and atmosphere are done brilliantly here and the whole look of the game is just so pleasing on the eye in so many ways. The 2.5D environment has layers of detail that may go unnoticed but if you just stop in the middle of the living world for a moment and take it all in, you will see the amount of detail that the visuals of this game actually have.
Audio is also done brilliantly too with Penny and all co-starring characters voiced really well with some fantastic writing accompanying the voice overs. A quirky, comedic script is on offer here and it really shines, complementing the core aspect of the game and fitting in well with its visual style. There is nothing that sounds robotic or too scripted in any way, with all performances sounding natural all the way through. The humour is done really well too, with one liners that are both funny and quirky and there are some terrific tongue in cheek jokes and references in there as well. While it doesn’t offer too much to go back to, Flipping Death is still definitely worth a second playthrough just in case there were a few things players may miss the first time. With around 7-8 hours worth of game here, Flipping Death is most definitely worth its price point. It not only plays well, but it’s funny, quirky, offers some originality to the platforming genre and it’s a joy to look at. If you want an original puzzle platforming experience then you can’t go wrong with this game.