Zoink Games might not have been around long, but they’ve already cultivated a striking house style. You couldn’t mistake Flipping Death – released today – for anything other than a successor to Psychonauts-ish platform puzzler Stick It To The Man. After an unfortunate fall (gravity is a harsh mistress), Penny Doewood finds herself in the land of the dead, and pressed into service as the grim reaper’s temporary replacement. and so it’s off to hop, skip and jump between the lands of life and death and ensure the recently deceased can rest in relative peace.
As with the mind-reading system in Stick It To The Man before it, Flipping Death is all about getting into people’s heads, just a little more literally in this case. In order to solve the problems of the dead, you’ve got to possess the living, pump them for info, drag them around the world and use them to solve convoluted problems before flipping (hence the title) to the reverse-side of the paper-thin world and back into the underworld. While there’s a lot of running and jumping, Flipping Death has the soul of a point-and-click adventure, with the townsfolk acting as your inventory.
While not too many critics on the PC side of things have taken a peek at Flipping Death yet, initial reviews for the Nintendo Switch version have been very positive. The general consensus so far seems to be that while the puzzles are a bit on the easy side, it’s a significantly longer game than its predecessor. There’s even a hint system to nudge you in the right direction if you do get stuck, so those who’d rather play it just for its story and world of brightly coloured, floppy-headed grotesques are free to do so – something I feel more story-driven puzzle adventures should enable.
Flipping Death is out now on Steam for £15.49/€16.79/$20.