Flat Kingdom – Review
Follow Genre: Action platformer
Developer: Fat Panda Games
Publisher: Games Starter
Platform: PC, Mac
Tested on: PC

Flat Kingdom – Review

Site Score
7.8
Good: Fun gameplay, great graphics and scenery
Bad: Voice acting, rather short
User Score
5.8
(6 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.8/10 (6 votes cast)

The tale where a princess is kidnapped and needs to be saved is already used a lot (I’m not looking at you, Princess Peach and Princess Zelda), although there are still games that try to add certain elements to give it that bit extra. It seems that Flat Kingdom is in peril due to the actions of a sneaky thief. Will you be able to serve the country and stop the upcoming problems?

flat kingdom

Story

Flat Kingdom is a country with a rich history. A long time ago, the nation was in peril and there was disagreement everywhere. Monsters ruled the area, war and conflicts were going rampant and it was really hard to live in such a fashion. They thought that this misery would never end. All of the sudden, a wise sorcerer appeared and created six crystals to restore order. These magical stones sealed away the monsters and brought peace to the land. To keep them safe, they were scattered and held in several areas. If one would be removed, it would bring devastation yet again.

Today, it seems that wheels of fate have started turning. The princess has been kidnapped, together with one of the six crystals. Due to this action, the country is changing, giving a combination of 2D and 3D elements. It is your task as flat hero to chase the thief and stop this madness. It will be hard to accomplish this, but at least you can count on several knights to save you when needed.

Flat Kingdom

Overall, the story itself is a chase, but thanks to the several parchments you can find, you get more details of some of the previous events that took place. For this type of game, there isn’t any more narrative needed, as you just have one goal: get the princess and kill everyone that stand in your way.

Graphics

This game is mostly a combination between 2D and 3D graphics, making it quite special at times since you can’t always tell when you need to use something or whether it has a decorative function. At any rate, both types of graphics works well together, blending in one nice scenery.

If you’re hoping to get lifelike, realistic visuals, think again. Everything is coated in a comical style, with some sprinkles of geometrical shapes. Every character, and the King and Princess in particular, are made out of several shapes, which gives a more ‘origami’ style. The environment on the other hand have more softer elements, which don’t scream those pointy forms. These two elements make that the game has a refreshing feel to it and although the two fit, it makes our small hero stand out as well.

Flat Kingdom

Flat himself can change in one of three geometrical figures and although this is quite special, his colors are quite bland. It is the opposite of most games, where the protagonist stands out thanks to the garments that he/she is wearing. The fact that everything around him shines bright with several fun colors is a nice contradiction that emphasizes that our little hero is special.

Sound

There are several areas to discover and every stage has its own particular tune. This means that you can expect a cheery, more Hawaiian style of music when you’re venturing a more beachy, underwater level while the dark, ominous caves will have more eerie sound to it. Combine this with the sound effects, and you’re in for a treat. There are loads of small sounds, like the grumbling or sighing of the King or the gnawing of the fish when you’re venturing the underwater world.

Voice acting isn’t that much used in this game, although the cutscene at the start of the game is fully spoken. The voice really fits the setting, although it seems that several parts aren’t recorded like it should be. This is a shame, as it might give you a wrong first impression of the game.

Flat Kingdom

Gameplay

Flat Kingdom is an action platformer where you need to stop the culprit that wants to destroy the peaceful world you live in. You’re the only one that can actually do this task, as you’re unaffected by the changing environment. Even more, you seem to possess some strange powers that can make you shift your shape. Each shape has its particular advantages, which needs to be used when you’re travelling through the kingdom.

The first shape is a square, which is quite slow and plump but will get you through certain breakable things. When you’re venturing in water, this shape will keep you on the bottom. Next to the square, you can also be a sphere, giving you the possibility to do double jumps and move a bit faster than the slow square. This form can also float in water, making it easier to swim. The last shape is the triangle, which is the speedo of the group. He will sprint, almost leaving your screen by doing so. This is quite dangerous, as there are loads of traps or enemies that might hurt you. When he jumps into water though, he’s not capable of doing anything anymore. This means that you either need to switch to a sphere to float or get heavy and sink to the bottom. Next to the usage per form, you can eventually start combining shapes to get past certain elements. For instance, when you’re running at full triangle speed and you then switch to square, you get catapulted which makes it possible to break certain walls. These special combo’s need to be found during your travels.

Flat Kingdom

Enemies are an annoyance that need to be dealt with, but there aren’t any weapons to be seen. The fighting system is quite special, as you’re actually playing a rock-paper-scissors game but with different elements. Triangle beats the sphere, sphere defeats square and square breaks triangle. This holy trinity needs to be memorized, as you will need to act quickly when someone is charging. Each area you visit will have some clues on how to defeat the boss. At the start of such a fight, it might be hard to detect the pattern or how to use certain aspects of the forms, but you’ll get the right fighting sequence eventually.

Your little hero has three lives to start with, which deplete when you’re attacked by a mob or got hit by a trap. This is quite important, as you need to be careful how you should react on certain things. On your travels, it might be that you encounter people in need. If you successfully complete this query, it might be that you receive an extra heart container. Also, at the beginning of certain levels, you can buy one as well, depending if you have collected enough coins. These are scattered across the kingdom, so it is a good idea to look around and find every penny.

At the start of a new game, you can choose between three difficulty levels, depending on your experience with such games. It might not be a bad idea to start with the easiest one, as an icon pops up above enemies to show you what form they are. On the other hand, this means that you’re stuck with the easy difficulty, since you can’t change this setting in the menu.

Flat Kingdom

The developers also recommend to play the game with a controller, and even a PS4 one. This might seem a tad weird, but the buttons of the PS4 controller are bound to the corresponding shape, which makes it a lot easier and natural to switch to the right form. If you don’t have a controller, don’t worry though. The game can be easily played without one, although you might have problems to remember the key bindings for the forms.

Overall, the game is quite pleasant to play, as your adventure takes you to a lot of different places where you need to use your puzzle brain and rhythm to do the right things or press the buttons at the right time. At certain locations, it feels more like a trial and error, but it doesn’t really spoil the fun.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a fun platformer with a rather special fighting system, which also triggers your puzzle senses, you’ll definitely like Flat Kingdom. The graphics are a nice mixture between 2- and 3D elements, giving a whole new dimension to certain puzzles. Combine these two elements with the sound and narrative, and you’ll certainly are in for a round of fun.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.8/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Flat Kingdom - Review, 5.8 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

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