Flip’s Escape (universal) by Shuan Inman is the spiritual sequel to The Last Rocket, taking the game’s rocket protagonist and unleashing him into the supernovas of space. A hectic endless runner, Escape might not inspire the same kind of addiction as its predecessor, but still brings a lot of fun gameplay to the table.
Unlike the original, Flip’s Escape is a vertical endless flyer built around a singular gameplay mechanic All players do while Flip ricochets back and forth across the screen is tap to engage a ‘bullet time’ like event, slowing down Flip’s movement to help avoid asteroids, and collect the stars orbiting around them.
It brings a bit of physics into the genre, although it is a little difficult to tell when the best time to tap and hold the screen is. There’s a high-risk, high-reward nature to the gameplay most endless games don’t offer: collecting stars speeds up the ship and can award shield power when chained together long enough, but one touch of an asteroid without a shield or get caught by the quickly approaching sunlight at the bottom, and it’s game over.
This can lead to many, many short runs, which in turn might be a little frustrating to the casual endless fan. The different hull upgrades and consumable power-ups will certainly help extend runs, but the high prices on the upgrades are going to require a lot of grinding to get enough gems to have the most powerful equipment available – though of course, there is a ‘mine’ where gems can be bought via IAP to help speed up the process.
I think the game experience would feel a little more well-rounded if the game itself had a little more creativity in its visuals. The first few times through, the retro 8-bit package is certainly nice to look at, but the lack of different backgrounds and in-level effects in a game where there isn’t a lot of gameplay variation gives it a repetitive feel not just in how it plays, but in how it looks and feels.
The touch-to-slowdown mechanic and sense of speed are definitely the game’s strongest aspects, although the lack of control over the ship as a result does feel a bit odd. Overall, Flip’s Escape is a solid title with all the prerequisite features that make endless games entertaining – just a little more difficult than one might expect a ‘casual’ game to be.