Posted April 17, 2018 by Peter in EGX

EGX Rezzed: Hands on – Flipping Death

Flipping Death logo
Flipping Death logo

If gaming has ever taught us one thing, it is that death is an inconvenience rather than a conclusion. So it appears for our protagonist in Flipping Death, whose realisation that she might be dead (the whole “being transparent” and “talking to another ghost” as clues) definitely causes her to have a lot of work ahead.

You see, Death – that is to say, the guy in a cloak with a scythe – has been looking forward to a holiday, mistakenly assumes you’re a temp hired to cover him, and joyfully hands over the tools of the job (the mentioned cloak and scythe) before heading off. You’re left having to cover, helping ghosts find closure so they can move on to whatever comes next.
Flipping Death screen
The first couple of minutes of gameplay had me thinking I was about to go through a platformer, possibly with some puzzle or adventure elements, but by the end I realised it was the other way around. Platforming – while having its own special mechanics to learn, thanks to the powers of the scythe – is secondary to exploration and interacting with a cast of unsuspecting living oddballs, which is how you’ll solve any puzzles.

Having been left with all the responsibility and none of the training, the show floor’s demo tutorial is essentially covered by a deceased bride asking you to see what happened to her – her suspicion being that her not-quite-so beloved husband did her in for her money before she’d even changed out of her wedding dress. However, as your only interaction with the world now comes by possessing the living, you need to keep finding new people to inhabit who might have abilities useful to the situation.
Flipping Death screen
Needing to get the paintwork finished on a boat is one sequence. Pokeman – a rather dubious superhero – can poke a switch at a paint factory that releases a paint can; taking a dentist out of his practice mid-surgery lets you use his drill to open that same rather solid can; and someone nicknamed the “lollypop king” has a tongue that doubles up as a rather useful paintbrush for adding that last layer of colour to the boat’s hull…

As you might gather, this isn’t a game taking things seriously, with a lot of humour throughout. The characters are all a gallery of mildly grotesque caricatures, and upon possessing them you can also enter their minds for their motivations and attempts to speak to them. (“I never had a conscience before!” the murderer muses, after you unsuccessfully try to convince him not to keep killing) The worlds too – both the dead and the living sides – are filled with absurdly shaped buildings, cars, hills and the like, all looking like a layered pop-up book in a way that is only emphasised when characters turn around and appear (briefly) to be flat on a third dimension. It’s pretty striking, and works well with the absurdity of the setting.

The game’s trailer fills in a few details that weren’t obvious from the demo on the show floor, as after the main character’s unfortunate demise there is a question of what actually happened to cause this sad state of inconvenienced mortality; your new job role will clearly be helpful to solve that mystery, as well as those of the dead around you.

Playing with a surprisingly light sense of humour given the grim theme, a jazzy soundtrack and a distinctive art style, Flipping Death is one of those titles that I approached not completely aware of how it would play, and left surprised that it wasn’t running on more than one display for people to get hands on with. It looks like a title that – if it can maintain that level of chaotic imagination and humour for the duration of the full game – will be very entertaining, and is worth keeping an eye on.

Flipping Death’s release is simply listed as “upcoming”; a multiplatform release is planned, for Steam, Xbox 1, PlayStation 4, and Switch.


Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.