Review

Flip's Twisted World (Wii)

Turning the World Upside-Sideways

by Geoff Morrison

Game Flip's Twisted World

Platform Wii

Genre(s) Action

There's a bit of mind-adjustment needed when you start Flip's Twisted World. By pressing the trigger and moving the controller, you can rotate the world in 90-degree increments. I thought of it as a sort of 3D And Yet it Moves.

You play as Flip, the adopted son of a wizard. Old man wizard is reluctant to train Flip in the wonderful ways of wizardry. As you'd expect, young Flip takes matters into his (your) hands and proceeds to get himself trapped inside a magical book full of broken worlds.

Flip's Twisted World Review

And that premise is what explains the varied worlds, all of which are borked into Lego-like pieces, floating in the sky.

At its core, Flip's Twisted World is a fairly basic platformer. You jump from platform to platform, gathering coins, keys, and bonking the occasional baddie. The, ah, twist, if you will, is that you'll need to rotate the world to make your way through each level. Usually it will be no more than a few jumps before you have to rotate.

The art design and graphics of the shattered worlds are quite good. They're colorful and fairly cartoony, which fits with the younger age bracket this game was designed for. The worlds have a unique aesthetic that shows a lot of thought went into them. Flip himself is rather adorable, in that Nintendo kind of way.

Flip's Twisted World Review

There were a couple of problems, though, preventing a high level of enjoyment. The first is the controls. You use the nunchuk's joystick to move and interact with the world, and the A button on the Wii remote to jump. The trigger on the Wii remote enters you into the mode to rotate the world. Once pressed, you see spinning arrows that represent the way the world is going to twist once you release the trigger. Helpfully, these are white when it's a direction that won't kill you, and orange for directions that will. You choose which direction is active by moving the remote. It's more accurate and less annoying to just use the joystick on the nunchuk, which effectively does the same thing. Because there is no obvious way to exit the rotation mode without rotating, if you accidently press the trigger while you're on a platform in the middle of space, you're pretty much dead. Even with the helpful arrows, you'll be dying like this a lot.

Flip's Twisted World Review

There is a slight sloppiness to the controls, which is a larger issue. It was hard to tell how or where you were going to land. In addition, platforms are often quite small, and the edges seem somewhat poorly defined in the game code. I would often think that I had landed, then find out, not so much. I just couldn't get comfortable with the controls.

Combat, too, is strange. Your main attack is enabled by shaking the Wii remote. But this somehow doesn't have the range it seems, so baddies can attack you at will, from just out of your range, while you stab at the space just to the side of them. I gave up on this attack completely and instead used the alternate attack, jump-slam.

One of the worst aspects, and one that seems overly harsh, is the death penalty. If you fall off the world—which will happen a LOT—you restart from a checkpoint. No problem. The same if you die in a boss fight. But if you die by falling onto something, say a wall that was once a ceiling, you have to restart the whole level. This has to be a mistake, as you can very easily rotate wrong, fall across the level, then OOPS, hit a castle or a wall or something before you fall into oblivion. Now instead of a fast restart near where you started your fall, the entire level resets.  After spending a hour wandering around a level, doing this and finding that, to be forced to do the entire level over again because of an accident, that's asinine.

The same level restart happens if you get killed by one of the goomba-esque baddies, but this is far less frequent and far more avoidable, so it's less of a nuisance.

Flip's Twisted World Review

There are other aspects of the game, like different outfits that give you additional powers, add-ons to your basic attacks, and so on, but these are merely texture on top of an otherwise mediocre game. There's the makings of a cool game in here, but the sloppy controls, brutal and bizarre death penalty, imbecilic camera, and a host of other small issues add up to it being more of a chore to play than remotely enjoyable. The parts that are well done are very well done, so it's hard to dislike this game. Sadly, it's also too hard to like.

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