Flipping Death is a side-scrolling action adventure puzzler developed and published by the amazing folks at Zoink Games, creators of Stick It to the Man and Zombie Vikings, both phenomenal games. So, does this one live up to the others? Let’s find out in one, two, uhh…three! Our tale begins with an interesting girl named Penny who spends her days dreaming of Halloween and working for a mortician. A lover of the spookies, she would do all she could to give everyone a good scare: I mean, we all need it once and a while. However, those around her were not as thrilled as she was. Her antics put her on the fast track to the unemployment line, leading to the worst day of her life. Dying in an unfortunate (yet mysterious) accident, Penny awakes in the underworld, lost and confused and face to face with Death himself. A case of mistaken identity sends Penny on a wild adventure as she fills in for Death as he goes on vacation. Trials and tribulations ensue as she works her way through the underworld trying to understand what really happened. Will Penny be able to return to her old life or is she doomed to roam the underworld clueless forever?
The mechanics presented throughout this stellar title prompt the player to jump between realms in your mission to solve everyone else’s problems while hoping to shed some light on yours. Ahhh video game protagonists: always being the noble ones to deal with the difficulties everyone else has, even when your life is just as bad. You are probably asking yourself, how can I help others when I am dead? Surely I am not bringing all of them to the land of the dead. Penny returns to the land of the living through everyone’s favorite method: possession! What, a little much? Don’t look at me, I’m just the messenger.
While strolling through the underworld Penny encounters three small colored beings that can be collected. Once your inventory is full of these little buggers, it’s time to control some people. While the quests you are sent on may be given to you by some spooky spirits, the only way to complete them is to travel throughout realms and use some humans as conduits. Do your research and choose wisely, only certain characters can reach those special locations. To make matters worse, everyone takes those beings, not always needed the same as the previous. So, I hope you like search near and far to get enough if you waste them on the wrong person. Luckily, once someone has been possessed, you can leave and return at your own free will, no charge for returning customers, I guess!
Unique is the word of the day when speaking on any game created by Zoink Games, and this one surely does not deviate from the path. Flipping Death is stocked full of bizarre humor, peculiar characters, and straight-up wackiness. I am intrigued that it managed to remain as such throughout this nightmarish masterpiece. I found enjoyment in the bright humor that was splattered throughout this dark and gloomy environment. The art design behind Flipping Death is off the chart. While the underworld is full of darkness and despair, Earth is vibrant that provides an amazing contrast of colors that carries over to the NPCs as well. Ghastly, dismembered ghouls compete against weirdly idiotic humans. In addition, Zoink returns with their specialty of the comical cardboard cut-out style for their world.
The soundtrack and vocals may shine even brighter than the rest of the game. The dialogue is an interesting mixture of humorous quips and slight idiocy. The individuals you meet throughout your journey seem ridiculously stupid with only a few understanding what is happening to them. While a comic relief character is great, everyone acting like utter buffoons seemed a bit much even for a highly comedic game like this one. The soundtrack, while extremely enjoyable, seemed off during a few instances. For example, one section in the underworld has a flurry of upbeat tunes. I understand creating a variety in your music, but I feel that would have been better to save for a different part of the game.
My time with Flipping Death was an extremely enjoyable experience that I wish could be mimicked in more of the games I play. Being a fan from Stick it to The Man, I am honored that I was able to review two of their other phenomenal games. Not often do I get to review a line up from the same developer and even then, I usually do not have as high of praise for all of them. Flipping Death is priced at $20 USD, which I feel is a great price for such a great game. Whether you are familiar with the style or not, I would not slack on this one. It is an amazing experience that is hard to find elsewhere.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 9.5/10
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