There haven't been many big releases for the Nintendo Switch yet, and we're sure many of you have been digging through the smaller releases in search of something to hold you over until something big like Super Mario Odyssey is released. That said, I recently took a look at Flip Wars, but has it helped satiate our desire for more reasons to use the Nintendo Switch? Check out our full review and find out!
Flip Wars is a game with a simple premise, you run around and flip tiles to either dominate the board with your character's color or knock out your opponents. This takes the form of three battle modes, including Panel Battle, Knock Out, and Life Battle. The objective in Panel Battle is simply to cover the board with your character's tile color while your opponents do the same. Knock Out, however, focuses on knocking out the other players, while Life Battle takes a mixed approach where knockouts and panel colors determine the winner, giving a limited amount of lives a player has until they can no longer respawn. These modes can be played online against other players or locally against friends or bots, and there are a few different maps that add obstacles and different board-based mechanics.
Sadly, that's about it. Flip Wars' biggest flaw is that there's a limited number of game modes on an already limited premise. It feels more like a mini-game than a standalone title and I'm willing to bet you've played this game before in other games like Mario Party. Ten dollars feels a bit steep for a game that's otherwise a sluggish version of another game's minigame.
And when I say sluggish, I mean really sluggish. Movement in this game feels unnecessarily slow, as if the player is walking through glue. You can get power-ups that boost your speed and you move faster on tiles of your own color, but it was only by combining these things that I felt as if I was moving at a reasonable speed. Even jumping and ground pounding to flip tiles feels slower than it should, and this just makes playing the game feel like more of a struggle than a challenge. Moving this slow also hinders my ability to flip tiles my opponents are standing on, making both Knock Out and Life Battle feel less fun than Panel Battle.
Matchmaking also takes an unnecessarily long time while playing online. It was rare to create a full party of players to play against and I found myself mostly playing 1v1 games with the same player... who destroyed me every time. Playing Flip Wars against just one other person isn't nearly as fun as it is with a full party, since part of the game's charm comes from the chaos of everybody flipping their tiles while trying to knock others off the board. I feel as if parties would have no problem being filled if you and the other players weren't kicked from the server after every round instead of letting players come and go as they please. Whether I was against one or three other players, the multiplayer was stable and ran smoothly. Others have encountered issues with server lag and connection issues, but I didn't experience this in my time with Flip Wars.
My last issue with Flip Wars is just that: time. While playing with bots or friends at home, you can edit the match as you see fit, including how long the match can go on for. When creating a match online, however, the player cannot change the duration of the game, (two minutes is the default). The slow movement, the likelihood of having just one opponent, and the game's limited premise makes two minutes drag, and I felt as if the only thing Flip Wars did quickly was overstay its welcome.
The Sad Truth
So is this the game that will hold you over until the next big release? Probably not, and for its price it's difficult to even suggest picking it up for the few hours of fun you might have with it. If you really have a need to flip some tiles, play Mario Party. If you just really want a game map to match your player's color, play Splatoon 2. And if you're in need for a smaller game to hold you over, I suggest buying Snake Pass if you haven't already, rather than Flip Wars.