From the creators that brought you Stick it to the Man, comes Flipping Death, a hilarious, twisted tale that feels like you’ve been dropped into a Tim Burton-esque pop up book. While the idea and art might seem a bit too odd for you, those willing to give this interesting puzzler a try will be more than happy they did.
Flipping Death puts you in the ghostly shoes of the recently deceased Penny, a young adult woman obsessed with the dark and morbid. Really, her passing is something that completely fits her mentality and it’s wonderfully conveyed through her character. Her shocked, but “I’m ok with this” attitude lends itself to the humor, which is only heightened further when she runs into Death who is long overdue for a vacation. For whatever reason, the Grim Reaper decides to put Penny in charge while he goes on a long holiday. What ensues is a non-stop, funny, charming adventure as you navigate the vibrant, pop up book world of Flatwood Peaks. It now falls on Penny to help trapped ghosts and navigate both the living and dead worlds, possessing people to solve puzzles and, eventually, solve the mystery behind her own death.
Any time Penny needs to enter the world of the living, she must possess a still living person to do so. EVERY time she enters the body of another hilarity follows, mainly in how the person reacts to the loss of their own mobility. Once you enter the host you take control of them in some way, and their reactions always make it an enjoyable task. While possessing a person over and over again might seem redundant, fear not. Thanks to the writing and characters you temporarily inhabit, the process never gets old. Possessing people isn’t Penny’s only trick though, there are others ready to be taken over, my favorite being a seagull, and the chainsaw-wielding mermaid. Yes, you read that right. There is just something about possessing the body of a seagull and then dive-bomb shitting on people that brings a smile to your face.
On the death side of things, Penny can navigate her new, spectral home with the help of her Scythe. By using it like a grappling hook, Penny can traverse the land of the dead with ease, well, mostly. This is the only snag I really encountered during my time with Flipping Death. The mechanic for using the Scythe can be clunky, and never really feels fully fleshed out. Thankfully, a slow-acting mechanic like this doesn’t do much in terms of slowing you down, thanks, again, to the fantastic writing and voice acting. Each and every character you encounter or possess, has a great story to tell that always involves some level of comedy.
While this is a puzzle/platformer things never get too stressful thanks to the ability to turn on hints that help you work through the games more convoluted puzzles. While some might not take advantage of this handy tool, others might find it more accessible for them to enjoy the game. Usually, in order to solve a puzzle, you’ll need to flip back and forth between the living and the dead worlds. Doing so requires you to collect these glowing, lightning bug things. You can’t possess people without consuming X amounts of them, thankfully they aren’t hard to find and there is usually an abundance of them floating around. However, some more headstrong characters require a little more “umph” than others so it’s always good to keep an overstock of them on hand.
Finally, for you completionists, there is a list of tasks that you can complete at your leisure outside of the story. You can do them while you go through the game’s seven chapters, OR if you don’t manage to finish them in time, they become available to you again after you beat the story. Finishing all of the tasks gets you collectible cards that have great character art and bios on them. While it might not seem like a necessity, it’s a fun little addition to the game to add some extra playtime to it.
Flipping Death is a game that thrives off of hilarious ridiculousness and there is plenty of that to be had throughout the entire game. It’s not often you come across a game and end up belly laughing the entire way through, but Flipping Death pulls it off flawlessly.
Flipping Death might not be a hardcore game in any genre, but it’s overly enjoyable and full of great writing, characters, and so, so many laughs, which means it’s worth anyone’s time.