I kept trying to come up with different intros for this review. I had a lot of trouble trying to describe Flip Wars in a way that would sound exciting or enthralling, and there really isn’t much of a story to go on. So before I tell you what I thought about the game, here is the “super exciting” description of Flip Wars straight from Nintendo.com
“This tense multiplayer action game will have you stomping to flip over panels—and unwitting opponents! To win, flip the most panels to your color in local battles, online*, or single-player. The more you flip, the faster you’ll move in a mad dash to nab power ups. Increase your flip range, turn invincible, and more across 3 modes and 12 arenas!”
After reading that and watching the trailer, I was pretty excited about playing Flip Wars on my Switch. But sadly, when I actually played the game, I felt disappointed and a bit let down.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Flip Wars. My main problem with this game is just how simple it really is. It sounds fast paced and exciting but it actually drags on a bit while playing a match. While running around trying to claim tiles, I felt like I was going really slowly. Even the ground pounds feel sluggish. And this isn’t a performance issue I’m talking about. This is just how the game is, and I think that’s why I felt bored while playing it. Yes, your character will gradually go faster as you flip tiles, but it just doesn’t feel like enough to make the game as fun and frantic as some of the other multiplayer/party games available right now.
There is one thing I enjoyed doing and that’s knocking opponents out of the ring. While running around the arena, the other three players are flipping tiles as well. If you walk on a tile that gets flipped, it knocks you out. You respawn pretty quickly but it gives the other players enough time to steal your tiles. There is a lot of potential when it comes to Flip Wars, so by no means is this is a bad game… it just lacks the WOW factor. Like, a lot.
There are three modes you can choose from: Panel Battle, Time Battle and Life Battle. Panel Battle is the main mode, here you just need to flip over more tiles then the rest of your opponents before the time runs out. In Time Battle you need to have the most knockouts by the end of the match. And last but not least, Life Battle has you knocking out your opponents as well, except this time after being KO’d three times you wont respawn. The last player left is, of course, the winner. As you can see there isn’t much variety here either. Regardless of how you win the match, they all kind of felt the same.
There are power ups that will pop up throughout the match. Some will make you go a little faster for a short amount of time, other ones will change the shape and number of tiles you flip over after ground pounding. I always ran to get the speed power ups but the other ones just didn’t seem that useful to me. There were a few times when I grabbed one and it made less tiles flip over when I landed, which was annoying. I don’t see how those help since they don’t cover as much ground as a normal pound.
There are 12 arenas you can play on, with 4 layouts to choose from. Some are very open and flat, others are riddled with hazards and other obstacles that affect your gameplay or knock you out. Most of them are shaped differently and I liked how bright and detailed all of the characters and backgrounds were. Aesthetically speaking, the game looks great in both TV and handheld mode.
When the game description says “single player”, it means with computers. There is no single player game mode in Flip Wars. Just you and three other people with the same goal of flipping tiles. Actually, you could just play with three computers, turn up their difficulty and it almost feels the same as playing with real people online. Speaking of which, you might end up doing that anyways. With the amount of trouble I had finding a match online and the other reviews I read that stated the same problems, it’s a wonder if this game will get much online multiplayer action at all. Nine times out of ten I would get impatient waiting for players and leave the lobby. It just wasn’t worth spending that much time on.
DLC and updates could be this game’s savior. New modes need to be added, maybe even some sort of main game for a more relaxed play. Being able to choose which color you are or being able to customize your character’s outfit would be cool, too, since every player has a set color regardless of their preference (for example P1 is always red). Some updates to the online mode would be nice as well. Maybe adding ranks or something to make people want to play. Even if it’s cheap, paid DLC, the game needs something to draw people in. Because I can tell you now, this simplistic game isn’t one I’m really excited to go back to. I think it might appeal to a younger crowd, so if you have kids, I recommend checking it out. For the most part, I’d say wait for some updates or hopefully some much needed DLC.
Flip Wars is available now on the Switch eShop for the low price of $9.99.