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Developer: Zoink Games Publisher: Zoink Games Platform: Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One Release Date: August 7, 2018 ESRB: T for Teen Note: This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game Flipping Death is developer Zoink’s newest foray into side-scrolling cartoon adventure games. Those who recall Stick It to the Man! are likely aware of the studio’s penchant for oddball humor and situational comedy. Flipping Death follows in its spiritual predecessor’s footsteps, adopting a similar tone and art-style. Does it do enough to stand out from Zoink’s growing library, or will you be left flipping Death off? Players inhabit the mind of Penny Doewood, a recently-deceased young woman with a love of the macabre and all things Halloween. Death, however, is not the end for our dear protagonist. The scene literally flips to a place called the Otherside, where ghosts, restless souls, and all manner of strange creatures exist. Penny awakens in this alien, yet familiar, parallel world and immediately earns a job from Death himself. It seems the Grim Reaper is tired of constantly taking lives, and craves a quiet vacation to the Moon where there’s nothing but blissful, peaceful solitude. Flipping Death tasks Penny with solving the various crises of restless souls all across the Otherside. From a ship captain who got caught cheating because of his boat’s name to vivisected superhumans craving revenge, the offbeat cast of quirky characters provides much of Flipping Death’s charm. To help the ghosts reach a satisfying rest, Penny must possess the bodies of the living on the other side of her new world. While inhabiting a living host, Penny gains access to whatever abilities that person has. Each of these abilities is crucial to solving Flipping Death’s bevy of environmental puzzles, but can also be used to complete side objectives that reward character art cards. The perspective shift can be a bit jarring at first, but you’ll grow accustomed to it as time goes on. What you may struggle to come to grips with are the platforming mechanics, which feel a bit loose at the best of times. The Switch’s small controller nubs only make the lack of precision all the more noticeable, though it likely won’t impede your progress that much. Using ghost Penny’s scythe to teleport and capture souls in order to possess the living takes some getting used to, but the controls eventually become second-nature. Flipping Death isn’t terribly difficult, but a few of the environmental clues and the sequence of characters needed to complete the puzzles may stump you once or twice. The game encourages a trial-and-error approach, though you may find yourself possessing characters out of order. Unfortunately, I did run into a bug that did not let one of the characters I possessed leave his office-space, forcing me to reload the level. The rest of the experience was largely error-free and enjoyable. Like Stick It to the Man!, Flipping Death’s visual presentation is wholly unique and engrossing. The cartoon-esque world is vibrant and full of teeming, creepy things scuttling in the backgrounds. Character models are well-designed and fully-voiced, lending a good deal of strong production value to the whole experience. The Switch port does seem to suffer some minor input lag and dropped frames every now and then, but it’s to be expected given the hardware. This is, by and large, a well-executed version of the game that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. I missed out on Stick It to the Man!, but Flipping Death is a great introduction to Zoink’s zany brand of humor. The writing is consistently strong, even featuring some genuine warmth amid the gut laughs. A few odd bugs here and there and some occasionally frustrating platforming mechanics mar an otherwise-strong game, but that shouldn’t deter you from wearing Death’s mantle once again. With the Halloween season nearly upon us, there’s no better time to get spooky and take a trip to the Otherside. Pros + Well-written and genuinely funny + Beautiful art style and great audio production + Fun puzzles and a vibrant game-world Cons - A little buggy at points - Platforming on the Switch can be hit or miss Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good Flipping Death is a brief, but very enjoyable journey through the spirit world. Its puzzles, artistic vision, and sense of humor are all on point. You’d do well to give this macabre world a look. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher
Jason Clement posted a article in Industry NewsIf you haven't been paying attention to the Swedish gaming scene, you've been missing out on two of the biggest indie developer success stories in recent years. And now, things are about to get a whole lot bigger. Case in point, Image & Form (developer of the SteamWorld series) and Zoink Games (developer of Stick It to the Man and the upcoming Fe) have joined forces to form Thunderful, a limited liability company that will wholly own both developers. With the relationship formalized, the new company will eventually move into a bigger office together, but will still develop new and existing IP under their respective labels. Thunderful is co-owned by Image & Form CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson, Zoink Games CEO Klaus Lyngeled, and Bergsala Holding. Sigurgeirsson will assume the mantle of CEO for Thunderful whereas Lyngeled will become the Chief Creative Officer. So what led to the decision to join together? “We already work together on a daily basis in PR, marketing, intelligence and publishing,” says Brjann Sigurgeirsson, CEO of Image & Form and CEO of Thunderful. “Image & Form and Zoink will continue to produce games like we always do, but we’re now formalizing our close relationship. Through Thunderful we can share resources more effectively, officially act together and launch bigger, more ambitious game projects. We’re becoming a real powerhouse.” “Brjann and I already exchange very much information, so this development is natural,” says Klaus Lyngeled, CEO of Zoink and Chief Creative Officer of Thunderful. “With a group of close to 50 people we’ll grow our clout both nationally and internationally.” Also of note, Bergsala Holdings is the sole distributor of Nintendo products (among other things) in the Nordic region and has been a long-standing partner for both companies. At the moment, Thunderful has close to 50 employees and nine projects that are currently in development -- two of which are Fe and Flipping Death, while the remaining seven are as-of-yet unannounced. Image & Form's most recent title, SteamWorld Dig 2, released in September 2017 and has been critically acclaimed and gone on to be the company's best-selling game to date. It received a 9.5 out of 10 in our review. Source: Press Release What are your thoughts on Image & Form joining with Zoink Games to become Thunderful?