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Review: Flip Wars

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When the Switch was first announced, many of us saw a brief glimpse at a rad party game, a genre that's become a staple on Nintendo systems since the N64 (though four-player Nightmare on Elm Street NES was pretty rad too). That project became known as Flip Wars, and seemed to offer up a Mario Party style competitive play that would help augment Bomberman, and elevate the Switch's multiplayer library.

It accomplishes none of those things.

Flip Wars (Switch)
Developer: Over Fence
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: May 18, 2017 (JP), July 6, 2017 (EU), August 10, 2017 (US)
MSRP: $9.99

From the starting line I was pretty jazzed about the idea of flipping tiles and blowing people up in a deranged, modified version of Othello. It's not a new concept to games, even the obscure Ehrgeiz did the whole "Battle Othello" thing ages ago, but I dug the sleek neon aesthetic, and hey, it's always easy to drag people into party games on a Nintendo console. What I was greeted with was a barebones, slow game that doesn't flow nearly as well as I thought it would.

Your goal is to jump up in the air and butt bump tiles to change them to your color, which is fine on its own. Yet, much of Flip Wars' mechanics are completely reliant on power-ups as a crutch. Your character always starts a match with an incredibly sluggish sense of locomotion and low impact flip, which should have been heavily tweaked in testing. Grabbing speed-ups and tile increasing pickups make matches seem a little quicker, and various objects like lasers and explosive switches give off the illusion that everything is a little more hectic.

But all of these so called "gimmicks" (read: objects that allow you to create more colors) and items (mostly derivatives of Bomberman with none of the style) change nothing. I like the idea of altering your direction mid-air (to dodge or get a more favorable position), or canceling your leap to trick someone out, but they don't fundamentally change what is a dull arena concept. I mean really, once you've seen the cool water level that has waves that crash into the arena or the level that rains lightning down on everyone occasionally, that's all she wrote.

You just bounce soullessly on panels over three modes, two of which are basically deathmatch iterations with kills or stock lives. Online play is available but finding a match is spotty, and "local area battle," which utilizes multiple Switch units, isn't live yet at the time of publishing. There's a stark lack of options, like the ability to customize anything other than the win parameters or time limit. I'm not talking "no items Final Destination" levels of tweaking here, but it would be nice if there was enough depth to allow for bare knuckle combat.

Flip Wars is in some ways less fleshed out than the demo for Fusion Frenzy. Almost every feature, from the blocked out local mode to the disappointing "My Room" option (that's less of a room and more like a statistic menu), is a half measure. Maybe Over Fence can add to what they've built with a sequel, a series of free updates, or even a re-launch (which has been done in the very same party space). Until that happens, don't worry about missing out.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]


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Flip Wars reviewed by Chris Carter

3.5

POOR

Went wrong somewhere along the line. The original idea might have promise, but in practice it has failed. Threatens to be interesting sometimes, but rarely.
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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more + disclosures


 



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