Review: Flips: Terror in Cubicle Four (DSiWare)

Reading fun for the young kids

Digital books seem like a pretty obvious thing to sell for just about any handheld. Strangely enough, we didn't really see any notable ones on the DS until 2008 when Nintendo released their 100 Classic Book Collection.

At the end of 2009, EA released a set of five Flips games, each featuring a number of decently sized stories to read on your DS. Terror in Cubicle Four is one single story from the game Flips: Too Ghoul for School, which featured eight stories all themed around monsters.

Obviously, said story is the main draw of this "game." When you first attempt to read it, you'll be given a quick tutorial on how things work. Sliding the stylus left or right lets you flip pages, while sliding and then holding the stylus on the touch screen lets you flip through several pages fast. Throughout the story, you'll encounter words that are bolded; tapping these can cause several things to happen, such as making an accompanying sound effect play, or showing you a picture and a brief profile of a character.

Sometimes the words will be on the non-touchscreen. In these cases, a button will appear on the touch screen, that you can tap to activate them. To draw you in a bit more, there's also plenty of illustrations, some animated, and aside from the sound effects that can be triggered, some will also play automatically. After every chapter you'll also get a short round of trivia to test if you've been paying close attention to what's happening.

On some pages you'll also see slugs of some kind. Tapping these will unlock some aptly named "Unlockables" in their own respective gallery accessed through the pause menu. Don't get too excited, though, because they consist of nothing more than fairly lame jokes (What's brown and sticky? A stick!), and you'll only unlock one at a time. Eventually, you'll also unlock the Bonus book. It's not as long as the main story, with its 400+ pages, but it'll give you a little bit more enjoyment.

Surprisingly enough, there's also a Download Play feature available. Using this, you'll be able to send someone else one chapter from the story, so they can see if they like the way the "game" handles. Perhaps parents with young kids?

Conclusion

Flips: Terror in Cubicle Four isn't too interesting a story, but the way it's presented is likely to appeal to the younger ones. Obviously, buying the retail game is better value for your money, but if you'd like to try out one story to see if you'd like the rest of the package, then this isn't too bad of a deal for 500 DSi Points.