The Nintendo Switch has offered a new chance for game developers to craft unique experiences. The handheld and home console hybrid nature of the device has offered opportunities like no other, with shorter and more multiplayer focused experiences working exceptionally well on the system. But for every hit, there will almost certainly be a miss. Flip Wars sits on the latter side of the quality equation, presenting what could have been some Bomberman-esque multiplayer, but failing to bring the goods.
Flip Wars has no story and its universe isn’t explained in any significant way. In some ways this is good, offering players a quick and easy way to jump right into the gameplay. And that gameplay does hold some promise. A mixture of Bomberman and other classic arcade style experiences, Flip Wars keeps things simple, while pitting players against each other and AI controlled bots in arenas of various shapes, sizes, and configurations.
The way players battle is fairly unique, with a bit of a nod to Splatoon in a way. The main game mode has players try to cover the map in their particular color. They do this not by splatting ink everywhere, but by jumping, then slamming down to the ground, causing a ripple in different directions, depending on the player’s current status. If another player gets in the way they’ll be knocked off the board, and have to respawn.
One of the ways Flip Wars mixes up what would otherwise be an overly simple gameplay mechanic is is that, also like Splatoon, players move quicker on their already controlled territory. This incentivizes players beyond their overarching goal, making it so they are always pushing to control more of the map than their opponent. There’s also a mode focusing on these knock outs, allowing more competitive players to duke it out, if they so choose.
Flip Wars isn’t a bad game, it’s a painfully mediocre one
And that’s pretty much it. Flip Wars just doesn’t offer all that much content for players to enjoy. Sure, it’s a discounted experience, only costing $9.99 at launch, but even for that this game is pretty light. Online multiplayer is a nice feature, but there’s a woeful lack of players for the matchmaking to search through. Playing locally can be a bit more fun, as you taunt and yell at each other in real space. After the first few matches though, most players will just get tired of the repetition.
Different game modes don’t actually change things that much. Players are still walking around the same maps, and performing the same simple “jump and slam” maneuver, just with a very slightly different goal. Power ups kind of change your strategy at the time, but they’re random, and honestly not all that useful to seek out. The different maps can mix up the formula, with some having distinct features that alter how you try to take over the map, but there’s only a few that do this, and they still don’t change the core gameplay.
It’d be one thing if that core gameplay was a delight to experience. Simple games can be great, especially on the Switch. Flip Wars isn’t a fun simple game though. It’s dull at times, and the core gameplay just doesn’t bring enough by itself to sustain more than a few matches before players will start to wonder why they’re playing this, instead of something bigger and better.
And that’s where the math for whether Flip Wars is worth a look comes into play. The game isn’t all that great, and it’s lack of content is worrisome. There’s promises of updates to fill in the gaps, but few will be patient enough, even if those do arrive as planned. Still, the Nintendo Switch is a newer console, and its games lineup isn’t fully fleshed out just yet.
If you’re dying for something new to play, Flip Wars is cheap and will give you something to do with your friends. You won’t have as much fun as if you played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Splatoon 2 or even Super Bomberman R, but it’ll kill a little bit of time on a trip or something. There’s no huge glitches, and the art style is decent, if a little derivative. So those dying to have a new Switch game won’t be totally disappointed with Flip Wars, just don’t expect to play it at all once more games arrive, say after this holiday season.
Flip Wars isn’t a bad game, it’s a painfully mediocre one with an appalling lack of overall content. The core gameplay just isn’t fun or interesting enough to carry the experience over the line into something worth most gamers’ time and money. The Switch might be the perfect place for a small, simple multiplayer game, but Flip Wars doesn’t offer anything new or different enough to justify itself.
- Score: 2.5 / 5
- Available On: Nintendo Switch
- Published By: Nintendo
- Developed By: Over Fence Co. Ltd.
- Genre: Action
- US Release Date: August 10th, 2017
- Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
- Quote: "Flip Wars isn't a bad game, it's a painfully mediocre one with an appalling lack of overall content. The Switch might be the perfect place for a small, simple multiplayer game, but Flip Wars doesn't offer anything new or different enough to justify itself."