See You On The Flip Side

I’ve always been a big fan of word games. My first favourite game was Boggle, which was introduced to me by some older kids at an after school program I attended. I also enjoyed Scrabble and had much practice since every so often, on a Friday, my grade 6 teacher would bring out a ton of copies and our whole class would play. When I first made the foray into board game apps, one of the first ones I got was the app for Paperback. I fell in love with the whole deck building mechanic of it mixed with the creating of words.

Yesterday, I saw via Twitter that Danny Devine and Steven Aramini, both known for designing board games, including Circle the Wagons and Sprawlopolis, had collaborated on a new word game app called Flip Side. I was intrigued and immediately signed up to beta test it.

The title screen when first loading Flip Side

The game is fairly straightforward. Words are built using only the lowest row of cards. When a card is placed in the building area, one of the cards above that card can be chosen by the player to replace that card. The same happens for the replacing card. The last open space is replaced by a card from your deck.

What the screen looks like at the start of a game. Letter cards are randomized.

Points are generated for each word you build based on the small numbers present at the bottom left corner of the card. Words that are 5 letters and over will generate 1 bonus point per letter in the word, so a 5 letter word will give you 5 bonus points, a 6 letter word would give you 6 etc. As well, there are cards that have a blue background. These cards, when used, will give you 2 points per card used, no matter how big the word is. You can gain this bonus more than once if you’ve used more than one blue card in your word.

There’s a couple of other things in Flip Side that add a bit more strategy to the game. These options can be accessed by tapping on a letter and choosing one of the symbols that pop up.

The two options; wild and flip. Only certain letters will have the flip option.

One of these is reminiscent of Hardback in which any card can be switched to a wild at any time. However, in Flip Side, you actually receive a penalty of -3 points if you do so. As well, at the end of the game, you will receive 20 bonus points if you don’t use a wild during the game.

The screen that appears when you choose the wild button.

The second neat thing about Flip Side, which ties into the name, is that certain letters (designated with a black font and arrows) can be flipped into a different letter. In the example here, the letter that I chose is a “p” but if I choose the flip option, it turns into a “d”.

Note the “d” where the “p” was originally

Eventually, your replenishing deck will run out and the last card is a red card that says “Game Over”. It can come down the same way as any other card, but once it reaches the bottom row, the game will end after you’ve built your current word.

The red “Game Over” card has come out

I’ve had a lot of fun playing this game. It’s simple and provides enough differences from other game apps out there. I like that after the game, the score screen will show you all the words you built during that game.

The final screen after the game which is my current high score.

As well, when you build a word, silly messages appear, placing your word into them. Some of the results have been rather amusing. I think this is a really fun touch that adds some character to the game.

The game does have ads but they seem to only appear before starting a new round and have been skippable. Once the game is out of beta, it appears there will be a “Premium” option which will most likely remove the ads. What the cost of that will be is unknown as the button does not currently function.

I’ve had a lot of fun testing this game out and I look forward to seeing the continued efforts of the developers, Maker Mischief. If you want to join the beta test for Flip Side, you can sign up here.

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