PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One
Flipping Death is funny with a lot of clever puzzles to solve in entertaining ways. The annoying controls almost kill it, but creativity wins in the end.
Flipping Death is about death, loss and second chances. But it’s also a game about possessing a seagull and crapping into a pot of spaghetti.
It’s this contrast alone that make Flipping Death worth playing, especially if you’re into twisted, often silly humor and weird puzzles.
In Flipping Death, you play as Penny – a snarky young woman who was just fired from her job at a funeral home for her lack of people skills.
In a stroke of luck, she immediately finds another job as Death’s replacement, when she falls down an open grave and dies. Spoilers, I guess?
From there, Flipping Death is a series of fun, often bizarre puzzles loosely connected by a relatively simple plot.
The story itself is told mostly via narration and a few interactive flashbacks. It does go a little too meta during those flashbacks, but they end up being my favorite part of an otherwise forgettable story.
The bulk of what you do in the game isn’t all that related to it, which is probably for the best. The story might be pretty forgettable, but it serves as an excellent excuse for the wacky puzzles.
And boy, do I like this game’s puzzles.
The central gimmick of Flipping Death is taking control of other characters. Penny may be dead, but thanks to Death’s scythe she can possess the living.
She can read their minds for clues, move them around the map, and even control their arms to interact with the world to hilarious results. She can possess a fireman to put out fires, a little girl with braces that can chew through anything or a chef with a meatball cannon.
It’s those… unique individuals who are the key to solving the tasks you face in each chapter. It’s not always obvious what you need to do, so exploring and possessing different people is the best way to figure out what you have to work with.
Even then, the solution is never straightforward. Most of them have multiple stages to complete, and lots of creative thinking. Luckily, there usually aren’t a lot of people at any given level, so even if you’re stuck, you can stumble across the right solution eventually. Or you can use the game’s hint system, which is very helpful if you just want to know what to do next.
Besides the puzzles you need to complete, you also have small challenges you can do in each chapter. While they are far from mandatory, they are still fun to do and lead to some very amusing moments. You only have a vague description to go on, so cracking them can be even more satisfying then solving the actual level; at least it was for me.
I also really like the game’s visual style. In fact, that’s what drew me to it in the first place. If you’ve played Zoink’s Stick it to the Man (which I wholeheartedly recommend you do), you’ll recognize it immediately. Backgrounds are colorful and cartoony, and the way the world “flips” when you switch between the living world and the afterlife is a nice touch.
While the characters are slightly grotesque (in a cute way) and look like they are made of rubber. Unfortunately, it also means they tend to move like rubber.
Everything that’s bad about Flipping Death can be traced back to your character’s movement. Moving your character about feels unwieldy and imprecise. That’s fine on its own since it suits the game’s visual style. However, it’s less fine when you need to make a precision jump or collect tiny objects under a time limit.
You do have other ways of moving around the level, like teleporting to any character you already possessed, or using Death’s scythe to teleport short distances. But jumping around the level is still something you need to do quite often, and it can get frustrating.
Luckily, Flipping Death is funny and creative enough to make up for that.
The various characters all look and sound great, and their inner dialogue is always entertaining. The story, while pretty straightforward, is a genuinely lovely tale. But the highlight is still the puzzles, and the way Penny can interact with the living world through the people she possesses.
Flipping Death is a fun, silly romp you’ll probably finish in a few hours. But if you like original indie titles, you’ll love this one. If you end up not having fun, you can always come back and flip me off for recommending it.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.