A snarky dead girl wielding a teleporting scythe, puns by the fistful and the ability to possess dentists to help solve a murder case? Call the police because whoever came up with this game broke into my house and read my wish journal.
The people that came up with this arresting-looking adventure are Zoink, the same studio that made Fe. This is a very different game, starring a hero who Death mistakes for his holiday cover, and featuring a satisfying blend of platforming and puzzle-solving, all whizzed up in a blender with Technicolor good looks and a legitimately funny script written by Ryan North. Yes, fellow fun-loving nerd, the same Ryan North who pens the Adventure Time comic book series, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and Dinosaur Comics.
Flipping Death isn’t just a good title, it also refers to the way that you can flip between the world of the dead, populated by angsty ghosts, ghost critters that can be caught, and ethereal hands, and the living world. To enter the living world you need to catch enough ghost critters to possess someone, then use their particular talents to solve a puzzle. Need to break into a can of paint to help a sailor? Possess a dentist with a drill! Want to arrest a murderer? You’ll need a policeman. Some characters seem to be there just for fun, like the Pokeman, a masked loon that likes, well, poking people. The first chapter gave me one straightforward objective of finding out who murdered Lady Elderdough, but also kept me exploring with random challenges (like ringing the church bell or bringing about the ‘apokalypse’) and treats like the Granny Grand Prix.
It sounds simple but is actually fiendishly clever – the solutions to problems are bonkers but logical, flipping between the two worlds offers up all sorts of navigation possibilities – and it’s all tied up in a big shiny ribbon of a whip smart script. When a game features a depressed dead bear that tells you off for your “problematic” species based puns in its first chapter, you know you’re on to a good thing.
The game will be released on Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch sometime in spring, and I can’t wait to start my afterlife.
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