Fliplomacy ($1.99) by Shobhit Samaria is a unique puzzle game where you must restore peace to the board by convincing certain tiles to change sides. If you enjoyed recent titles like Dissembler or Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle, then you'll get a kick out of Fliplomacy.
Puzzles are my saving grace lately, with all of the different things in my life that are stressing me out. After a long day, I just want to sit down with my fiancé and just relax with some games on my iPhone. While it feels like I've gone through most of the puzzle games on the App Store, I just can't help myself: I'm always keeping my eyes peeled for new ones. And when I saw Fliplomacy on the App Store, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Needless to say, this one doesn't disappoint.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
The visual style in Fliplomacy is distinctive and carries a minimalistic aesthetic to it. While the game looks like it could have just been done in flat, 2D drawings, it's more of an isometric 3D appearance due to the angled top-down perspective that's fairly popular these days. The tiles on the board also have a bit of depth to them, so they pop out against the soothing color gradient backgrounds. The default Diplomat character in the starting theme is a voxel-style humanoid, and the flags are simple and basic, like what you'd expect on a golf course. Animations are smooth and fluid, with no lag or choppy frame rates on my iPhone 8 Plus. The atmospheric and ambient soundtrack is soothing, which is perfect for unwinding with after a long day.
When you start Fliplomacy, there's only the main theme, which is a pink-to-lavender backdrop, and your Diplomat is in pink, who must change purple flags to pink. As you complete a certain number of puzzles, more themes become available for you to use. These themes change your Diplomat's appearance, as well as the flags, and the symbols on the squares to represent special tiles. I love the other themes, and seeing how awesome the red blue theme with playing cards looks definitely keeps me motivated to keep going until I unlock it.
Like many other puzzle games, Fliplomacy is level-based. There are 150 puzzles that are split up over five chapters, so there are 30 stages in each. Unlike most puzzle games though, everything is unlocked from the start, so you can play the game in any order you want. So if you get stuck, don't worry! Just go try a different puzzle and go back to the other one later. The freedom of playing however you want is definitely fantastic, and alleviates any frustrations you may have.
So what's the goal in Fliplomacy? It's pretty simple: as ace Diplomat, you must convince the squares on the board that have changed sides, with flags that are the opposite color as you. To do this, you must jump over these squares to make them change color. Just swipe your finger in the direction you want to move in, and the Diplomat moves one space at at time, unless it's a flag, which you jump over.
There's a bit of variety in the puzzles and their objectives. Some of them just require you to get all of the flags the same color, and the fewer moves you do it in, the more stars you earn (up to three). Others have a limited amount of moves, so you have to think carefully about how to solve the puzzle. Eventually, later puzzles also need you to reach the "done deal" square to finalize everything, or you need to collect all of the briefcases before it's complete. The various goals spice up the game, and are much appreciated.
The game starts out simple enough, but as you progress, new mechanics are introduced as well. The game likes to handhold you through these new elements though, as there's always a tutorial pop-up that appears whenever there's something new. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake and restart when there's a new mechanic, then you have to go through the tutorial boxes again, which is rather annoying.
If you're wondering what mechanics are added as you go, there will be squares that can change the color of all flags in a row, column, or the entire board, disappearing squares (so you can't go back), warping points, and more. As these get shown to you, you'll have to think carefully about your plan to reach all the flags and change their sides. Using your head here is part of the fun, as the game is inspired by classics like Othello and Checkers.
Fliplomacy is a fantastic puzzle game that is sure to delight fans of the genre.
Fliplomacy is a fantastic puzzle game that is sure to delight fans of the genre. The graphics are nice, clean, and minimalistic but with enough oomph to appeal to everyone. The sound is calming and tranquil, so it is great for helping you forget about reality for a bit and focusing on the challenging puzzles at hand.
For a game that is only two bucks and has 150 puzzles that you can solve in any order, there's a lot of value for your money. Controls are responsive and intuitive, so it's a great choice for anyone in the family.
While Fliplomacy is great, there is one issue I can see and that's the fact that there are no hints. Even though you can just move on to another puzzle and come back to the one you're stuck on at a different time, sometimes you'll just want to solve it right away. I think that Fliplomacy could benefit from having a hint system, and since there are no in-app purchases, more could be earned by completing puzzles. It's not a huge deal, but just something I hope the developer considers adding in the future.
If you're a fan of challenging puzzle games that make you use your head, then Fliplomacy is an excellent addition. I love the kitschy visuals, and the various themes that you can unlock keep you motivated to play. I enjoy ambient music, so the soundtrack is delightful. On top of it all, the ability to play the game as you please in any order you want is great, and honestly, I wish more games allowed you to do that. It's just not much fun being stuck and frustrated on a level with no other options.
Fliplomacy is a must for any puzzle lovers. It's available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for $1.99.