Sawbuck Gamer

Flip Flop

Free Falling

The only way to navigate FlipFlop’s dizzying mazes is to defy gravity.

By Danny Gallagher • August 29, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

I am fascinated with those tilting wooden labyrinth toys. Atari and Nintendo may have worked hard to create a craving for digital games in my young, pliable brain, but the challenge of competing against gravity in a physical space is alluring. Tilt controls and simulated physics still can’t replicate the thrill of carefully twisting balsa wood to keep a ball bearing from falling into the wrong hole.

The floating labyrinths in FlipFlop offer a similar test by asking you to harness gravity’s draconian laws. With the ability to reverse gravity at the press of a button, players navigate a series of mazes that look like unfinished three-dimensional M.C. Escher sketches. The game starts in open spaces dotted with walls that float dozens of feet apart from one another. Later, obstacles like spiked crushers and moving platforms are added. The world is so vibrant, and the sensation of uncontrollable flight so exciting, that I felt a small rush every time gravity pulled me toward a wall or into the void. FlipFlop finally brings us one step closer to making the wooden-desk-toy industry obsolete by illustrating what it feels like to be a helpless pawn in a maze where gravity’s rules are turned sideways.

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7 Responses to “Free Falling”

  1. Merve says:

    It’s a cool concept, but as is often the problem with low-budget 3D games, it controls so terribly that it’s basically unplayable. This probably would have worked better from a third-person perspective.

  2. 3DS owners can pick up similar-concept Kersploosh! for like three bucks.

  3. Huxley_D says:

    This reminds me a lot of one of my favorite under-rated PS1 games, “Roll Away.” Check out this video if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about (not my video, but a good example):¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abA7UDMZgfw

    Also, am I crazy or is Roll Away just begging for an iOS / Vita / 3DS remake?

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