In recent years, it seems as if the 3D Platforming genre has all but disappeared on the Wii with the exception of the Mario Galaxy games. All these classics from the N64 era seem long gone these days, but leave it to Flip's Twisted World to bring back those romanticized days of high exploration platforming with a new take on the genre.
Flip's Twisted World comes out of Toronto based studio, Frozen North Productions, with a small team working on one greatly detailed game. When playing Flip's Twisted World, players may first feel as if they are playing a great classic like Banjo-Kazooie with tons of collection and exploration, not to mention a super vibrant and colourful world. This feeling continues throughout the game, but there is a whole new element in the game which hasn't been seen before. The main character, Flip, has the ability to twist the world around him as he pleases. This turns all the platforming on it's head while exploring these sometimes MC Escher style levels.
Flip is a young wizard who is training under his master, but when Flip enters one of his master's secret rooms, he's sucked into a forbidden magic book, bringing him to a strange new world. A six-personality-sided block helps Flip on his way through this strange world and also helps to teach him how to use magical abilities. All of these flip controls are done with the Wii Remote by holding B and then rotating the remote in the direction you wish to rotate the world. This is all done 90 degrees at a time and has to be done on solid ground. Flip can also rotate off of the world, which resets him to the last checkpoint found in the level, but there are warning arrows to warn the player if the turn is unsafe to perform from where Flip is standing so players don't accidentally rotate the wrong way.
Now for players worried about motion sickness, there really isn't anything to worry about. When things flip around, there is still a good sense of direction, and the levels usually aren't too difficult to wrap your head around in terms of spacial awareness. The levels also don't get repetitive or boring, since a lot of little in-between tasks are laid out to change the pace of the game a bit, as well as having interior levels on top of the outdoor exploratory levels to help out with variance. For example there can be a pressure plate puzzle, or even a sort of chase scene to really move things around and not get too repetitive.
There was also a large variety to the enemies and worlds that Flip travels through. Each world breaks down into multiple rooms and areas with different challenges placed throughout, jumping between indoor and outdoor areas, trying to fight through enemies with multiple abilities and weapons. Some of the weapons also have an elemental power which may be used to activate parts of a puzzle or to unleash on enemies.
To that note, the combat also has essentially three ways to attack. The first basic attack is used by swinging the remote to hit an enemy, three slashes also performs the combo attack that does more damage. The third attack type is a slam attack that consists of jumping into the air and slamming a massive spell book down on enemies. The slam attack did seem the most efficient, but also probably varies from player to player depending on preference of waggle or button attacks.
So, Flip's Twisted World doesn't only look like a great game throwback to golden days of N64 platforming, but a whole new puzzler take on the formula without losing that fun and vibrant edge. Even visually, Flip's Twisted World stands out with really well textured character models as well as wide open spaces that let you see everything that is going on with the map. Even the clever camera can be manipulated to pull way out and see everything before making that next move.
There is no doubt that Flip's Twisted World can roll with the best of them and is looking to be one of the great platformers of the Wii generation when it comes out sometime around this September.