Spotlight: Flipping Death

Spotlight: Flipping Death

Flipping Death is a 2D Adventure Platformer by Zoink Games.

Flipping Death stars a girl named Penny Doewood, who dies after being fired from her job at a funeral home. Once she arrives in the world of the dead, she gets confused for the grim reaper’s replacement intern. Penny then has to find a way to return to the world of the living, retrieve her stolen body, and help other deceased individuals with their own problems along the way.

The platforming is relatively basic, with a regular jump as well as the ability to throw Penny’s scythe so that it will hook on to a platform and she can teleport to it. Other than platforming, another key mechanic allows Penny to possess people, animals, or an object they’re holding. To use this power of possession, Penny must have collected enough ghost critters to possess the individual. Some characters require more ghost critters than others to possess, while others require other types of ghost critters. All types of ghost critters can usually be found in certain areas of the underworld, while optional challenges you can run into can give you more ghost critters as well as the ones which may be a little more difficult to find.

While the various characters you talk to will help you understand what you need to do next at times and it can be relatively straightforward, many other times it might not be as clear, especially if you haven’t taken some time to explore each new area a little. There’s a hint system in the pause menu if you aren’t sure what to do next, which consists of images of the characters you have to possess and what you have to do with them. This would be more helpful if it wasn’t for the fact that the game doesn’t direct you very well in the first place, and feels like it’s counting on you to rely on hints rather than using them as a last resort. Additionally, you can’t view past hints after completing them, which is unhelpful when trying to remember your past actions. It’s also possible to complete these actions accidentally, meaning that if you did the correct action without realizing it, you might be confused on what to do next since you aren’t even sure about what you just did.

Although the gameplay has some unappealing flaws, the humor is where the game really stands out, and is arguably the best part of the game. There are a ton of quirky characters who can be possessed or have an object their holding be possessed, and seeing their various reactions is a treat. Between an ice cream obsessed man, a poking superhero (or supervillain?), and a constantly defecating bird among others, there’s no shortage of silly dialogue and cartoonish antics. There are also collectible cards you can find which go into detail about each character.

The art style is also appropriately weird, and another one of the qualities that may interest other players. It has a vibrant but weird feel to it reminiscent of Double Fine produced games or certain Halloween themed cartoon specials.

The gameplay might not get you hooked, but the more you enjoy the quirky type of humor, the easier it is to deal with. I could see plenty more people playing Flipping Death as Halloween gets closer despite its gameplay  shortcomings, especially if they prefer the more humorous side of the holiday.

Flipping Death is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Code was provided by the publisher.

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