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Portabliss: Mighty Flip Champs DX (PSP Minis)


Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. Three times a week, our new Portabliss column will tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: Mighty Flip Champs DX!

We didn't have a periodic column about portable downloadable games when WayForward unleashed the bookish puzzle game Mighty Flip Champs upon DSiWare. WayForward graciously ported the game to PSP and released it as a Mini last week, affording us the opportunity to treat it as a new release once again and write about it here. Thanks, WayForward!

It's a game that, previous to its arrival on PSP (and, as a Mini, PS3), I could only imagine as a DS game. It shows two mirrored locations at once, allowing you to flip between them -- it is, therefore, a natural for the DS screen. But the PSP version turns the vertical "flipping" horizontal, and puts the two locations on the left and right side of the PSP screen. To my surprise, this arrangement works out just fine! It doesn't feel like an adaptation to a less adequate platform; it just works.

Mighty Flip Champs starts off easily enough: you navigate one screen to get where you want to be on the other; when you're in the right position, you "flip" and turn the page into the other one. That way, you can get to a location on the other side that might be blocked or distant. You can flip back and forth (as long as you don't accidentally get yourself stuck in a wall), navigating this way until you reach the goal, which is represented by an animal or monster friend.

Then, as soon as you've gotten the hang out of navigating two "pages" like this, the game starts messing with you. How about six sequential pages to puzzle through? And multiple goals? All right, now the pages flip on their own. And the game keeps track of how many "flips" you make, so you'll see just how useless and desperate your tactics have become before you kill yourself by flipping into thin air above a bed of spikes.

Regardless of which system you play it on, this is a worthy puzzle game that, like any good handheld puzzle game, is perfectly playable for a minute or an hour, and also really difficult.

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