Flipped Out – The Powerpuff Girls Match 3 Puzzle / Fighting Action Game ($2.99) by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. is a new hybrid title that has launched in anticipation of the Powerpuff Girls reboot next week. If you were a fan of the Powerpuff Girls, or just enjoy match-three strategy puzzle games or good old-fashioned brawlers, then Flipped Out is worth checking out.
Around the time I was in middle school, I liked to stay up late watching cartoons on Cartoon Network. One of those cartoons that I ended up watching often was Powerpuff Girls, and I grew to become a big fan of the series. I watched most of the episodes that aired on the channel, and I even saw the movie at some point. Needless to say, Powerpuff Girls was definitely a cartoon that set some standards in terms of storytelling and art style, at least for me (and I’m sure many others agree). When I first heard about the reboot of the Powerpuff Girls, I groaned with displeasure, because it seems that everything that ended well is getting a reboot. However, I am willing to give it a chance after I saw the extended introduction of the new series, because I appreciate the modernized theme song and art style. With the reboot launch just a week away now, it seems the hype is building up more than ever before, and that’s why we have Flipped Out. After spending some time with the game, I must say that it is definitely an interesting mashup that is worth checking out, as there is nothing quite like it on the App Store.
Visually, Flipped Out is stunningly beautiful, especially if you’re a fan of the franchise. It retains the cartoonish art style that the Powerpuff Girls are known for, though it seems that this game goes with the more streamlined and modern art style, rather than the classic version, which makes sense given the reboot next week. The colors in the game are bright and vivid, which you’d expect from anything Powerpuff Girls releated. While the typeface for text is rather cartoony, it’s not hard to read at all and just adds extra charm to the title. Animations are smooth and fluid, and the soundtrack pulls you in to the Powerpuff Girls world and Townsville. Sound effects are a fun final touch to the overall visual and audio package.
There are four different chapters in Flipped Out at the moment, with each of them having nine main levels, a boss battle, and three additional bonus stages that can be unlocked when you get a certain number of A+ grades once you complete a level. The chapters are spread out across different sectors of Townsville, so you’ll be visiting some familiar places. The main objective is to clear the stage of as many enemy monsters as you can, or defeat the boss, before the Powerpuff Girls are defeated. Your score depends on how many foes you’ve managed to get rid of, and collecting the pickles for the mayor is beneficial, as you’ll earn sticker upgrades for the girls, which grant you some awesome super powers to make battle easier.
In Flipped Out, there are two “modes” that you can seamlessly switch to while on a level: Sugar (strategic puzzle) and Spice (action-packed brawler). While it does sound confusing at first, the tutorial in the beginning stages will walk you through the two modes, and it’s also good to flip strategically (portrait for Sugar, landscape for Spice) to defeat certain enemies and bosses.
For Sugar Mode, monsters will pop up on the screen after each turn, which constitutes a move you make. The monsters are also able to attack or move after you make a move, so you have to plan out your attack carefully. The girls will appear scattered on the grid in Sugar Mode, and you must have the girls make matches of like-colored monsters to clear them out. To do this, select one of the girls that you want to move, then swipe them in the direction you want them to go. When they bump into a monster, you can then have the girl throw them to another girl, or at a cluster of like-colored monsters to make a match of at least three or more. If you match at least four, there will be a bonus laser explosion once that group clears out, in which case it will trigger other groups that are caught in the blast. Depending on where you have positioned the girls, you can get creative and set off some epic chain reactions.
In Spice Mode, the girls will appear on the streets of Townsville, and you tap to select the girl you want and then swipe them to where you want to go. When they run into an enemy, attacking happens automatically, and you can also send in at least two girls on one target to beat them quicker. All of the action of this mode happens in real-time, so you don’t have the time to plan out your attacks — you have to be fast with your reflexes here.
In both modes, though, enemies will drop pickle chips after they’re defeated. In Sugar mode, all you have to do to collect them is have a girl move over them and the chips are yours. In Spice mode, you just tap on them to pick them up. The pickle chips are important, since you get a gift box with a sticker prize inside each time the gauge is full.
The stickers serve as powerful upgrades for our young heroines. You can equip stickers on each girl for a different loadout, and the sticker effects can vary depending on whether you’re in Sugar or Spice mode. When you want to use an ability, just select the girl you want, and then tap on the ability button in the top right corner. But be careful — each ability can only be used a certain number of times in a stage, so make sure to use them wisely.
While the goal of each stage is pretty simple with just racking up points with matches or defeating your foes in battle, watch out for the hits that may sneak in if you aren’t careful. You lose a heart on each girl if they take damage, and if they are down for the count, you may have to flip to the other mode to wake them up. But if all of them go down, then you’ve failed and must try again.
Personally, Flipped Out was a pleasant surprise for me this week, and it’s rather enjoyable, which is nice since I also liked the other Powerpuff Girls game, Defenders of Townsville. The graphics in Flipped Out are wonderful, the music and sounds are fun, and the controls are simple enough, though I think they could be better optimized for accuracy (sometimes I messed up a move because I was slightly off). The strategic match-three and action brawler modes work well for what it’s worth, and it’s definitely an interesting combination that you just don’t see anywhere else on the App Store.
I recommend giving Powerpuff Girls: Flipped Out a try if you’re a fan of the franchise, enjoy innovative new games, or just like a challenging match-three or brawler game. You can find Flipped Out as a universal download on the App Store for just $2.99. There are no in-app purchases.