These battles are all well and good, but where is the meat at?
Local multiplayer games are my bread and butter and the Switch has already served as the home for a lot of creative ideas for local play. The ability to take off the Joy-Cons and start playing is a major part of this, and it is why games like Flip Wars can succeed. The ideas behind the game are simple enough, which makes it easy for anyone to understand. That is currently the only area where the game succeeds, as it’s sorely in need of content right now.
The gameplay of Flip Wars is simple to grasp. You take control of one of the four spacesuit wearing characters, choose a mode and get into a battle. All of the modes use the same mechanical principles. The player moves around with the left stick and presses the right face button to do a butt stomp. This stomp is used to flip panels so they become your color, as well as sending opponents flying off the stage. Flip Wars also offers a quick side dash, so that can correct a decision at the last second. The most important factor during the battles is to win terrain. Your character moves faster over his own colored panels, so creating passageways is an important part of the experience. Along the way, you will pick up items in a Bomberman like fashion. These can expand your range, make you invincible and have other effects.
The various modes are quite sound as well. Panel Battle is the standard game in which you flip little squares into your own color. The person who has the most squares once the time expires wins. In Knock Out, victory is earned by sending your opponents packing. With well timed stomps, you earn yourself points toward your eventual victory. Depending on the range that you build up with items, this can easily be dominated by one player. If you want to add fire to this rule set, Life Battle is another option for you. In here, the players all have a set number of lives with the goal of being the last one standing in the arena.
The problems start when you explore the meat of Flip Wars. There are 12 stages in the game, which is a fine amount, but all of them rely on a single gimmick. Regardless of whether you’re playing one of the three various locales, each with distinct features like wavy water and electricity, the four types of stages are always the same. They do offer tweaks in the layout to accommodate the environments’ strong suits, but it would have been better if more elements were mixed up. You can play the game locally, which is a lot of fun, but only on a single Switch. Many areas have a ''Coming Soon'' notice on it, which includes the ''Local Area Battle'' and the ''Ranking'' online battles. You can battle online right now, but it is only against random folk which isn't exactly ideal. It appears the content will be distributed in a matter similar to Splatoon or ARMS, but the schedule hasn’t been communicated very well.
Flip Wars has the heart of a good multiplayer game, but it lacks a full feature set. With slightly sterile stages and many incomplete modes, it is tough to recommend. My suggestion if you’re interested is to wait until after it has gotten some updates. It’s not like this is currently void of fun, but it surely needs a spicing up. As of right now, I can only recommend Flip Wars to those who play a lot in tabletop and TV modes with other people, this is where the game shined brightest for me.