Review by Matt Dunn
No this isn’t a game about flipping pizzas (although that would be awesome!). But it IS a pleasant surprise to a tired reviewer on a late Tuesday night. This is a game that takes a simple concept, and pretty much does as much as a game can possibly do with it! Sure, it’s a “simple” arrange-the-squares-to-complete-the-picture game, but it’s so much more…
Fliparoni takes the standard “arrange-the-picture” game and flips it on it’s end… literally. the game adds the ability to use pre-loaded videos, along with it’s library of pictures, in the puzzles! Trust me, this adds a completely new dimension to this kind of game. Granted, this is far from a first in the genre, but I have yet to see a game pull it off so well.
Fliparoni also adds in the ability to flip image/video squares vertically or horizontally, and rotate them in either direction. These additions add a large amount of difficulty to gameplay, but luckily can be easily disabled from the options menu. To make the game a bit easier, there is also an option that shows a little flash when pieces are put in the right position. To further this, there is an option to lock the pieces when they are correct, so you don’t accidently move them. You’ll notice a pattern here: plenty of options. I had some minor issues with images sometimes accidently moving when I was trying to flip them, or accidently flipping when I’m trying to rotate, but this wasn’t a huge deal.
For the content of the puzzles, you can use the library of videos and photos, choose from your own photo library, or download new videos and photos from a built in browser. Unforunately, I kept getting a “lost Wi-Fi connection” error that resulted in nothing being downloaded, except for a default rainbow picture. This was strange, and I don’t know if others are having this issue. I’m running a strong wi-fi connection from a new Airport Extreme, so possibly this feature is down at the moment? Considering this game was just released (and I have no idea if I’m the issue or not), I’ll give this some grace. it’s a great concept, so I hope I can get it working soon! Unfortunately, this error has resulted in a bunch of defualt rainbow images in the galleries, and I haven’t found a way to delete them. Deleting images/videos is probably the only feature that I can’t find in this game.
The videos are probably going to be the biggest draw of this game, and I must say that they deliver both a challenging and entertaining twist to this type of game. Unfortunately, it seems that many of the videos were filmed with a low quality DV-camera, rather than a professional quality HD variety. That’s a not a major deal, but I would really like to see some more professional styled videos being used.
A nice feature of Fliparoni is the high score board. Each puzzle session is timed. When you enter your name for the leader board, it shows you which options were enabled/disabled for that session. So if you try to get a good score, but have flipping/rotating disabled, other players will see this! Unfortuantely, after the first 10 minutes, when I was booted to the home screen, the high score list reset. I haven’t seen this issue since then, but it would be frustrating to have this happen after several games.
Presentation & Graphics
Pictures look great, but the video quality is a bit lacking. Still, the game is very slick, and easy to navigate.
I don’t see any reason to have sound in a game like this.
I had a really good time with the video puzzles! Other than a few issues with touch response, everything in this game is intuitive, and flat out entertaining. It’s a great game to play on the go. Hopefully the crashing bug I experienced is fixed, but it has yet to show itself more than the one time.
Very rarely will I give a game a perfect score for game life, but Fliparoni does everything right. Providing a library of videos and photos is nice, and allowing you to use your own images is standard in this kind of game, but providing a built-in content download system was pure genius. Timing the games and providing a leader board will let you challenge yourself, and your friends. Finally providing a variety of ways to actually play the game by letting you individually disable different aspects of gameplay puts the icing on the cake.
Though not without it’s minor annoyances here and there, Fliparoni is the prime example of a game who’s developer spent a lot of time adding as many featuers as possible to provide a well-rounded experience to their users. They took a simple and common puzzle game for the iPhone and gave it exactly what it needed: full gameplay customization, video integration, new gameplay elements, high scores, and the ability to download content right to your phone! Fliparoni is definitely a winner, even if I wasn’t able to flip any pepperonis!