Created by Igloo Games / Rated 4+ / 1-2 Players / iPhone + iPod Touch / 8.9 MB / $2.99
Review written by Tim Harding

To say I was disappointed to find that Igloo Games had entered the Match-3 market with their latest offering would be an understatement. The developer of Dizzy Bee, one of my favorite iPhone games, must have been off its rocker! I mean, Match-3 games are a dime a dozen in the App Store and there couldn’t possibly be anything new or innovative to add to this oversaturated genre…right?

The strength of the Match-3 genre is that there’s nothing to them. Bejeweled and its infinite clones appeal to a mass casual audience that enjoys the simplicity of the gameplay. Unfortunately for many gamers, this is exactly why we hate these games. They are boring, have no depth, no challenge, no substance, and no lasting appeal. Enter Flipside. To my delight, this Match-3 game brought with it an innovative twist (or should I say ‘flip’), that actually requires a little thought to play (gasp!).

Flipside

Flipside sounds like your typical Match-3 game when you first start describing it: match 3 or more of the same tiles horizontally or vertically and they disappear, yay! But the twist is that each tile is two-sided and can be flipped over to change which side faces you. You can see through the tiles so you always know what’s on the other side. This simple change in the formula actually changes the game quite a bit. Make a match on the frontside? Good for you! Make a match on the backside? For shame! In Puzzle Mode, the goal is to clear all tiles. You fail if you leave any tiles behind or if you match tiles on the backside. In Survival Mode, you just have to keep the board from overflowing with tiles. Making backside matches brings more tiles raining down. In Vs. Mode (against the computer or a nearby friend over bluetooth), you play on opposite sides of the same board, competing to get to a pre-defined number of points. Of course, you can accidentally help your opponent by making matches on the backside of the board, giving them the points.

Flipside

I really enjoyed the Puzzle Mode most, as the lack of a time limit makes it a different game altogether. You really have to sit and strategize 3 or 4 steps ahead to ensure you leave no tiles behind. The other modes were also fun, but the early stages seemed much too easy. It’s a problem for me when I can randomly tap tiles or just leave them all alone and not lose for a VERY long time. Fortunately the difficulty does ramp up, so if you’re patient you may find some worthwhile challenges later on.

There are really no other complaints with the gameplay or controls, but I find myself constantly bothered by the character art. As amazing as Dizzy Bee was for me artistically, I’m left disappointed by the faces of the characters you can choose from. They seem out of place and unpolished in what is otherwise a very professional looking package. It’s a shame too, because it IS nice to see them make different faces when they succeed or fail, but when you don’t like the face to begin with, it’s not that enjoyable. Heck, forget the bland “people” altogether and get some Dizzy Bee characters in there!

Flipside

Ultimately, I have to admit that Igloo Games has come out with another solid entry in their line-up. If you despise Match-3 games, this game won’t be a revelation to you, but I can assure you that you’ll hate this game the LEAST out of the Match-3 games you’ve played. If you have enjoyed Match-3 games in the past, but have become bored with what’s available, this game will be a refreshing change that will exercise your brain in ways that Match-3 games never have before!

Stars
Version Reviewed: 1.1.1

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