Review: Flip


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Jul 5, 2008
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Flip is a ?match em up? style game. These are games where the goal is to link together a certain number of matching pieces. Games like bejeweled, trism, and aurora feint are all in these categories. But Flip adds a few different twists to the genre to keep it interesting. One of the main differences is that in Flip, the orientation of the iPhone determines up and down. If you ?flip? the iPhone, any side can become the new bottom, and pieces will shift and fall according to gravity.

In Flip, there are three game modes ? standard, puzzle, and speed. Standard mode is sort of like a combination of bejeweled and tetris. You have blocks that are falling from the top, and the goal is to get a certain number of the same color ?connected? to each other. As the levels increase, you have to get more and more linked up.

Puzzle mode is where you are given a specific board pattern that you try to match within a certain number of ?flips?. As you progress is levels, the puzzles become more and more complex, requiring a fair amount of thought before you begin to move the blocks around.

Speed mode is sort of like puzzle mode, but instead of limiting the number of flips, you are limited based on time ? you try to solve the puzzle before the time runs out. Again, as you increase in levels, the game gets more and more complex.

Flip takes the concept of a tetris/bejeweled game and adds some nice features with the iPhone accelerometer. In some ways, it is sort of like the mining phase of Aurora Feint, but it adds some complexity. I tried playing all three modes, and they each have their plusses and minuses. Standard mode is fun, but it can get a little repetitious. Both puzzle and speed mode are entertaining, but they require a little more thought (puzzle mode) or acting quickly (speed mode). Depending on what you are looking for, you can probably find one of these modes that would be entertaining for you.

The interface is fine for what the game is. The tile seems just sensitive enough, but not too sensitive (so you aren?t flipping the game for every slight tilt on the iPhone). That graphics are good for the game ? nothing spectacular, but they suit the game well. So long as the graphics and sound don?t detract from the game, I consider them okay, and that is the case with Flip. One nice feature is that you can listen to your own music while playing ? something that I wish more games included as an option (since the iPhone will usually have a lot of music on it!).

As with most games, I wish they had a multiplayer mode. Racing, cooperating, or competing with another player would add a great dimension to this game. I guess I just need to get used to the fact that programming for a multiplayer mode is more effort so is not going to happen too frequently.

The biggest drawback (if you can call it that) of the game was occasionally it would get a little monotonous (especially in the standard mode). Since you are just flipping around the iPhone as needed, at times it got a little tedious and I would tire of the game. But I then would usually pick it up again in a day or two to play some more. One nice feature is that you can pause your game and then return to it, so if you are getting tired, you can just leave it and come back at a later date.
Pros: Easy to learn and play, variety of game modes, pause feature
Cons: No multiplayer, a little expensive
All in all, this game is fun, easy to learn, and at times difficult to put down. The price is a little higher that I would have anticipated ($2.99), but it isn?t a huge detraction. The game makes good use of the iPhone accelerometer for its game play and adds a few twists to the standard ?match em up? game design. If you like this game type, I would suggest giving Flip a try. I was fluctuating between a three and a half rating and a four rating, since Flip didn't do anything to wow me, but it is a well designed game so I decided to give it four out of five stars.

Rating scale:

* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.

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