Day 136: FlipSide

Posted: 2011/03/25 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #136, and today’s game is “FlipSide”.

There are a few games out that that let two players control two characters with one controller (XBL indie game “FallDown” comes to mind). FlipSide takes the idea in a different direction, having one player control tho ships simultaneously, each one running a gauntlet where even a glancing contact with the scenery means instant death. This is a game that is meant to be hard, so that when you finally succeed you have a rush that easier games simply cannot provide.

First from the developer (BOKstuff):

“Two ships, two thumbs, one player. In FlipSide, you must control two ships at once, dodging through labyrinths of moving gates for edge-of-your-seat gameplay. Includes 5 super-intense challenge stages and an addictive endless mode. Try not to break your controller! Man, that zebra looks seriously insane. [http://bokstuff.com]”

The game starts off simple enough, as it eases you into the challenge to come. But before long, the simple repeating patterns are getting much less predictable, and you’re doing very different things simultaneously with each controller. Warning to those who cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, this may not be your game.

I remember playing Sega’s Columns far enough into the game that the gems were dropping faster than I could consciously perceive them, and it seemed like the autonomic part of my brain took over and I began dropping the gems on pure instinct. FlipSide gets like that the further you play into it, presuming you haven’t thrown your controller across the room in frustration before that point. It’s a true reimagining of the classic arcade feel, done with a speed that could only be dreamed of on an Asteroids cabinet, and a techno soundtrack that perfectly complements that speed. And while this is a game with spaceships that entirely lacks shooting, the lack of guns never held Pac Man back from becoming both a classic and a huge financial success.

This game has minimalist graphics, but strong audio. Ultimately it’s about the gameplay, and that’s easy to recommend given the 80 Microsoft Point price tag and the at times frustrating, but always bringing you back for more, nature of the game.

Click here to download “FlipSide”, and then please come back to rate the game.



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